Jeffs Clinch NESCAC Tournament Berth Despite 3-2 Loss at Hamilton

Clinton, NY - The Amherst women's hockey team fell at NESCAC rival Hamilton College, 3-2, in their regular-season finale Saturday afternoon at Sage Rink. First-year forward Annie Grabowski (Princeton, NJ) and sophomore Alison White (Brookline, MA) each tallied goals for the visiting Jeffs, while junior goaltender Heidi Alexander (Edina, MN) finished with 24 saves. With the loss, Amherst finishes its regular season at 6-14-1 overall and 4-11-1 in NESCAC play, but clinched a berth in the conference's inaugural postseason championship tournament nonetheless.

Grabowski pierced the scoring column 11:12 into the first period on assists from first-year defender Alicia Pichard (Potomac, MD) and sophomore Elissa Landes (Potomac, MD). Hamilton knotted the score 1-1 early in the second period when Marissa Halligan (West Haven, CT) fired a wrister into the back of the net. The Jeffs quickly countered when White connected with a wrister, giving the visitors a 2-1 advantage heading into the final stanza.

Hamilton tallied a pair of third period goals en route to the victory. Paula Dady (Wallingford, CT) evened the score at 2-2 on a 5-on-3 power play and Halligan scored the game-winner moments later giving the hosts the victory. Amherst junior tri-captain Danielle Williams (Needham, MA) fired a shot off the post in the waning minutes that would have tied the game for the Jeffs.

Unofficially, Amherst will enter the seven-team NESCAC Tournament as either the sixth or seventh seed, depending on the outcome of Wesleyan University's game at Connecticut College, also played on Saturday. A Wesleyan loss would make Amherst the sixth seed, while a win would push the Jeffs down to seventh.

Tournament play begins on Saturday, Feb. 23. The top seed receives a bye in the first round and will host the semifinals and final on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3, respectively. Middlebury, Bowdoin and Colby Colleges all have a shot at the top seed. If Middlebury hosts the tournament, the games will be played on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 since the men's tournament is being hosted by Middlebury.