AMHERST, MA – Coming off a 1-0 loss to second-ranked Middlebury College in a very close game, the Amherst College women's ice hockey team matched up with the top-seeded Cardinals from SUNY-Plattsburgh knowing that it could hang with the best. The Cardinals displayed their dominance, however, demonstrating why they are the top-ranked team in the country, as the Lord Jeffs dropped their third consecutive game, 5-1.
The Cardinals' offense tested junior goaltender Lindsay Grabowski (Princeton, NJ) early, wasting no time putting solid shots on net. Showing that they were not intimidated, the Lord Jeffs stormed right back to nearly net the first goal of the game, but junior Meg Quinn (Wakefield, MA) was tied up in front of the net and couldn't convert on a one-time opportunity. Amherst was able to keep pressure on in the Cardinals' zone, but Plattsburgh's defense remained tight.
Seven minutes into the first period, junior Sam Samson (Pembroke, Ontario) let loose an uncontested slap shot that appeared to be heading high for the glass, but the puck deflected off of junior assistant captain Julia Devereux (Lombard, IL) and found the back of the net for the first goal of the game. The Cardinals threatened with a breakaway six minutes later, but Grabowski came up with the big save to hold the deficit to one goal.
Amherst looked as though it could head into the locker room with at worst a one goal deficit, but with just over two minutes remaining in the frame the Cardinals' offense dropped the puck back to a wide-open Gina Kozar (Libertyville, IL), who wound up and fired a hard shot low and to the right of Grabowski, giving Plattsburgh a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Amherst began the second period with a five-on-four advantage, but sophomore Danielle Blanchard (Newmarket, Ontario) found herself on a breakaway just 30 seconds into the frame. With some fancy puck-work, Blanchard was able to fool Grabowski and give Plattsburgh a 3-0 lead on the shorthanded goal. Sophomore Ainsley Brien (Grimsby, Ontario) added to the lead four minutes later, placing a slap shot top shelf during a Plattsburgh power play.
With the Cardinals carrying all of the momentum and the game getting out of reach for Amherst, sophomore Lindsey Harrington (Westford, MA) skated in to goaltender Bree Doyle's (Ogdensburg, NY) right side and placed the puck low and to the far post for the Jeffs' first goal of the game, just 30 seconds after Brien netted the Cardinals' fourth. After a nine-minute scoring drought, Plattsburgh got right back to work as Kozar picked up a rebound and converted for her second goal of the game, giving the Cardinals a 5-1 lead that they would carry into the second intermission.
The teams looked much more evenly matched in the third period, with neither side able to crack the opposing defense. With the 5-1 loss, the Lord Jeffs fall to 3-4 on the season, while the Cardinals remain unbeaten and improve to 8-0-1. Grabowski and Doyle each recorded 12 saves on the night.
The Lord Jeffs return to action December 13th for a home match-up with Castleton State College at 7 p.m.