WILLIAMSTOWN -- There's nothing like playoff hockey. Just ask anyone that's been a part of it at any level.
Williams women's hockey senior co-captain Cristina Bravi got a little more than she bargained for Saturday, as her Ephs team hosted its first playoff game since 2005. Her younger sister Alessandra was on the other team, playing for Trinity.
"It was really special for my family to see," Cristina said. "This is probably not the ideal match-up because no one wants to end the other person's season, but it was good to at least see her in the quarters."
This was the first year the two girls from Montreal, Quebec, played at the same level. Alessandra is a freshman defenseman at Trinity, so when the two met in January in the regular season series, it was the first time they had ever played each other. Saturday's NESCAC quarterfinal was the third and final time at the collegiate level.
As to be expected, there were some extra emotions.
"I think coming into it a lot of nerves playing your sister as good as she is," Alessandra said. "But it was fun."
Distractions are the last thing a player wants in the postseason, but both Bravi sisters said once the game wore on, the nerves subsided. After all, there was a playoff game to be decided.
Cristina, the Williams forward, certainly did her part to have the Ephs host the final two rounds of the tournament. She scored the second of two goals in an 18-second span to give Williams its first lead, and then helped get the puck back to the point off a face-off later for Hannah Beattie's game-winner in a 3-2 win.
"It was difficult for me. I wanted her to do well, obviously, but I wanted us to win as well," Cristina said. "I noticed her sometimes on the ice, but besides that, I was just trying to focus on our game."
"You have to challenge that [playing your sisters] and remember that you're here to win, too," Alessandra said. "It's not just about playing your sister.
"She deserves everything she gets, and she's great."
While Alessandra's first collegiate season is over, Cristina and the rest of the Ephs continue their quest for a conference title at home next Saturday in the semifinals against Colby. The championship is Sunday at 2 p.m.
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