Hamilton College’s Nancy Loh ’23 recorded her first career hat trick in the Continentals’ 7-0 non-conference win against Saint Michael’s College at Hamilton’s Russell Sage Rink on Saturday afternoon.
The Continentals went 5-3-0 during a season-opening stretch where they played at home seven times in eight games. Hamilton scored once in the first period, four times in the second and twice more in the third. The Continentals held a commanding 67-6 shot advantage and won 36 of 51 faceoffs. Hamilton received votes in this week’s USCHO.com Division III Top 10 poll.
Leah White made 60 saves for Saint Michael’s, which dropped to 2-12-0 overall. The Purple Knights’ best scoring chance came in the final minute of the first period as Emma Kelly left the penalty box after serving a two-minute minor for holding. A Saint Michael’s player forced a turnover near their own blue line and passed ahead to Kelly who skated in alone on goaltender Gab Venne ’22. Venne made the glove save and kept the shutout intact.
Venne needed to make just six saves for her fourth shutout in 21 career starts. She lowered her goals against average to 1.50 this season.
The seven goals are the most by the Continentals since a 7-2 win against Buffalo State College on Jan. 4, 2019. Loh, who added an assist, leads Hamilton with six goals and 10 points. Maura Holden ’23 posted two goals and an assist and Sami Quackenbush ’24, Claire McGennis ’24, Hyla Mosher ’23 and Abby Kuhns ’23 were credited with two assists each. Kuhns leads the Continentals with six helpers and is tied with Holden with seven points.
Loh scored Hamilton’s first goal on the power play at 8:26 in the first period. McGennis tried to tip Kuhns’ shot from the point and the loose puck trickled out to the left faceoff circle where Loh knocked it past White.
Lisa Ito-Bagshaw ’25 made it 2-0 with her first goal for the Continentals at 6:45 of the second period. Hamilton quickly moved the puck out if its defensive zone and McGennis unleashed a shot from above the left faceoff circle that Ito-Bagshaw neatly tipped past White inside the right post.
Loh increased the lead to 3-0 at 8:11 of the second with a great individual effort. She forced a turnover near center ice by the right-side boards, eluded a defender by sliding the puck under their legs and fired a shot past White from close range.
Loh completed her hat trick with 8:36 left in the period after a rush up the left side by the Continentals. Mosher’s pass found Loh skating down the slot and she tipped it past White from the edge of the crease.
Holden made it 5-0 with 2:53 remaining in the second. Following sustained pressure in Hamilton’s offensive zone, Jess Haviland ’22 tipped a shot that White stopped but couldn’t control. Holden clanged the rebound off the right post and then batted the loose puck out of the air and into the back of the net. Holden scored again at 3:24 of the third period when she stuffed in a rebound from the left post after a scramble in front.
Maddie Hong ’23 completed the scoring with her first goal this season and the fifth of her career with 2:56 to go. During the Continentals’ third power play, Hong tried a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle dot that was blocked. She collected the loose puck near the right-side boards and skated towards the high slot. She eventually drifted into the left faceoff circle where this time her wrist shot settled into the back of the net.
Hamilton takes a long break for finals and the holidays before returning to NESCAC competition in 2022. The Continentals travel to Bowdoin College for a two-game weekend series that starts on Friday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m.