AMHERST, MA - The Amherst College women's hockey team outshot visiting NESCAC and Little Three rival Wesleyan University 52-8 en route to the Jeffs' first victory of the year, a 6-0 rout in their home opener on Saturday afternoon. Rookie Tarasai Karega (Detroit, MI) and junior tri-captain Meg Dickoff (Minnetonka, MN) each found the back of the net twice, while sophomore netminder Stacey Johnston (Kingston, ON) needed just eight saves to tally her first shutout of the season as Amherst improved to 1-2 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
The Jeffs wasted no time getting on the board as sophomore Natanya Khazzam (Montreal, QC) picked up a mishandled puck from Wesleyan first-year goalie Rachel Stemerman (Williamsville, NY) and slid it past the line just 2:27 into play for the early 1-0 lead. Dickoff stretched Amherst's edge to 2-0 at the 14:34-mark, flipping a wrister into the top left corner of the net from the point just four seconds into a power play.
The Jeff defense stymied a pair of Wesleyan power-play opportunities to open the second period, and rookie Anna MacLean (Edina, MN) continued the onslaught just before the seven minute mark, catching a rebounded shot from first-year forward Lindsay Harrington (Westford, MA) and tucking it inside the right post for a second power-play score. Amherst's power-play frenzy carried on, regaining the six-on-five advantage just over a minute later, and finding the back of the net with 11:26 left in the frame as Karega rerouted a wrister from senior tri-captain Renee Sisti (Coventry, CT). Karega tacked on a short-handed score late in the frame, slipping past a trio of Wesleyan skaters and tickling the twine for a 5-0 Amherst lead.
Dickoff capped the rout at the 15:26-mark of the third period, shoving the puck home after a scrum on the right side of the crease. The Cardinals nearly got on the board in the waning minutes of regulation, gaining a two-on-one breakaway advantage. However, Johnston made a spectacular sprawling save to her left side on Wesleyan's only shot of the period and sealed her shutout.
Stemerman and fellow rookie Hilary Schreiber (Bloomfield Hills, MI) tallied 21 and 25 saves, respectively for Wesleyan, which remained winless at 0-3 (0-3 NESCAC).
Amherst returns to action tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon for a rematch with visiting Wesleyan at 1 p.m.