Women's Hockey Holds Off #4 Middlebury, 3-2

lloyd6 Contact: Ben Badua

AMHERST, Mass. - Geneva Lloyd '12 (Calgary, Alberta) and Ellen Swiontkowski '12 (Minnetonka, Minn.) each recorded a goal and an assist to lead the sixth-ranked Amherst women's hockey team to a 3-2 win over #4 Middlebury at Orr Rink.

With both teams entering the weekend undefeated in NESCAC play, the Lord Jeffs (10-2-0/7-0-0 NESCAC) improved to 7-3-4 against the Panthers since 2007. Opening the season with a 10-game unbeaten streak, Middlebury fell to 8-1-2 (6-1-0 NESCAC) with the loss.

Hoping to get the home team off to a fast start, Swiontkowski registered the Jeffs' first good scoring opportunity just under the 14-minute mark, testing first-year netminder Annabelle Jones with a shot from the left circle.

Drawing a penalty midway through the opening period, Middlebury took advantage of an early man-up advantage, when senior Grace Waters tapped home a rebound off a shot from the point to stake the Panthers to a 1-0 edge with 11:03 remaining.

Moments later, Amherst junior forward Megan Doyen '13 (Ortonville, Mich.) nearly knotted the score, causing a turnover in the Middlebury zone before firing a backhanded shot into the right side of the Panther cage.

Continuing to go on the offensive with time winding down in the first, Lloyd caused another Panther turnover before sending a shot toward Jones from the left side. Moving into the zone, Doyen redirected the wrist shot in front, tucking her second goal of the season just inside the right post.

Looking to carry its momentum into the second, an aggressive Amherst squad pulled ahead midway through the frame netting their second tally of the evening at 9:42. Skating toward right corner, senior Josie Fisher '12 (Norwich, Vt.) fed a pass in front, finding the stick of a charging Swiontkowski, who hammered home her team-high eighth goal of the year to put the Jeffs on top.

On a power play with just under four minutes left in the second, Lloyd padded the Amherst lead, lifting a hard wrist shot from the right side over Jones' left shoulder to stake the Purple and White to a 3-1 edge.

Trying to keep pace, Middlebury's Maggie Woodward '13 raced into the Amherst zone in the opening moments of the final period before rattling a quick shot off the right post, narrowly missing a chance to pull the Panthers within one.

Still trailing with under five to play, first-year Emily Fluke gave the visitors some life, sliding a pass from the right post across the face of the goal to an open Maggie Melberg '12, who tipped in her fifth score of the year to suddenly make it 3-2.

Drawing a penalty in the waning moments of regulation, the Panthers pulled Jones to get two extra skaters onto the ice, but the Lord Jeff defense held steady until a Middlebury roughing penalty with just 15 ticks left negated the visitors' advantage.

Amherst finished with a 24-18 edge in shots, with both teams going 1-for-4 on the power play. Murphy made 16 saves en route to her fifth victory, while Jones, who entered the game as the nation's leader in both save percentage and goals-against average, made 21 stops, falling to 4-1-2 on the year.

The Lord Jeffs will wrap up their weekend set against the Panthers on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 3 p.m.