AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women's ice hockey team earned its third consecutive shutout, defeating visiting Trinity College 4-0 in a conference match-up at Orr Rink. Amherst improves to 6-4 (5-3 NESCAC) on the season, while Trinity falls to 4-6 (1-5 NESCAC).
Amherst got on the board first when, after five minutes of constant pressure in the Bantams' zone, first-years Kate Dennett (Highland Ranch, CO) and Michelle McGann (New Berlin, WI) were able to find sophomore Tarasai Karega (Detroit, MI) in front of the net. Karega settled the puck and placed it low to the goalie's left side to give the Jeffs a 1-0 lead 9:28 into the period.
The Jeffs got right back to work and continued to put pressure on Trinity's defense, forcing the Bantams' first-year goaltender Isabel Iwachiw to come up with some big saves. With two minutes remaining in the period, Trinity managed to put together a series of good shots on net, only to be denied by first-year goaltender Krystyn Elek (Summerville, SC). Despite controlling the puck for the majority of the period and out-shooting the Bantams 14-5, the Jeffs headed into the first intermission with a slim 1-0 advantage.
Trinity came out strong in the second frame, but Amherst regained control of the game and held possession for a majority of the first 10 minutes of the period. Trinity's first major threat of the period came when first-year Britney McKenna found senior co-captain Elizabeth Johnson in front of the net, but Johnson's shot sailed just wide. The Bantams were able to keep the puck in the Jeffs' zone after an Amherst penalty, but the Jeffs escaped a series of shots on net and were able to draw a Trinity penalty to even the numbers. Amherst had one minute of a power play to work with after its own penalty ran out, but could not put anything together.
Amherst increased its lead to 2-0 when it gained another power play opportunity with five minutes remaining in the second period, as senior tri-captain Tes Siarnacki (Gardner, MA) and sophomore Lindsey Harrington (Westford, MA) set up sophomore Anna MacLean (Edina, MN) for the Jeffs' second goal. Amherst added to its lead just 13 seconds later, when first-year Molly Malloy (Stamford, CT) capitalized on a nice setup from Siarnacki.
Trinity looked to get on the board before heading into the third period when McKenna fired a nice backhanded shot to Elek's left, but Elek used her pad to pick up the big save and preserve the 3-0 lead. The Bantams threatened one last time before the period ended, as Johnson broke away from the pack with just ten seconds on the clock, but first-year Alyssa Chwick (Rye Brook, NY) was able to catch up to Johnson and poke the puck away as time expired.
Amherst picked up a five-on-three advantage midway through the third period when just 30 seconds separated a pair of Trinity minor penalties. The Jeffs capitalized on the advantage when a loose puck in front of a crowded net found its way to the stick of senior Meg Dickoff (Minnetonka, MN), who netted Amherst's fourth goal of the game. Trinity played the final two minutes with a man-advantage but was unable to get on the scoreboard, as Amherst picked up the 4-0 win.
After picking up shutouts in Amherst's last two games, Elek held Trinity scoreless through the first two periods before being relieved by senior Lindsay Grabowski (Princeton, NJ). Elek finished the day with 14 saves, while Grabowski stopped four Trinity shots. Iwachiw put in 60 minutes between the pipes for the Bantams, finishing with an impressive 38 saves.
Amherst returns to action Monday, Jan. 8 for a non-conference road match-up with MIT at 7 p.m.