Contact: Matthew Hart
AMHERST, Mass. – Senior Kayte Holtz and first-years Ariana Bourque and Rachel Kennedy each scored first-period goals and Kayla Lessard '13 made 36 saves in net to lift visiting Bowdoin College to a 3-1 win over Amherst College in NESCAC women's hockey action Sunday at Orr Rink.
With the win, No. 7 Bowdoin improved to 18-4-2 (12-3-1 NESCAC), clinching the No. 2 seed for the upcoming NESCAC playoffs. Tenth-ranked Amherst takes the third seed, ending the regular season at 10-5-1 in league play (12-10-1 overall). The Jeffs will host Hamilton in quarterfinal action next Saturday while Bowdoin draws Williams.
On Senior Day for Amherst, Emily Flom '15 tallied the lone Jeff goal, striking with just nine seconds remaining in the second period to make it 3-1. The hosts saw numerous comeback attempts spoiled by Lessard over the final two frames as Amherst finished with a 37-22 advantage in shots but came up empty on all seven power play attempts.
After a 4-0 shutout in the series opener on Saturday night, Bowdoin wasted little grabbing a lead on Sunday. Going on the power play three minutes into the contest, Holtz carried the puck around the back of the Amherst net left-to-right then slipped out for an open wrist shot from the right circle which beat Amherst goalie Kerri Stuart '14 to the lower left corner. Madeline Lane '14 and Stephanie Ludy '13 picked up assists as the Polar Bears jumped in front at the 3:37 mark of the period.
Midway through the opening frame, the visitors padded their lead when Bourque sent in a quick wrist shot while falling down near the left post after a scrum in front of the net. Kennedy and Chelsea MacNeil '15 earned assists.
Amherst nearly countered shortly after the strike when Tori Salmon '15 escaped for a one-on-one with Lessard, but the Polar Bear netminder was equal to the task. Stuart couldn't match the save six minutes later, as Bowdoin grabbed a 3-0 lead on Kennedy's breakaway finish to the lower left corner. The strike came at the 16:22 mark with MacNeil and Bourque picking up assists.
After 10 saves in the opening frame, Lessard continued her strong work early in the second, helping Bowdoin kill an Amherst power play as she made back-to-back stops on a Geneva Lloyd '13 laser from the point and a Megan Doyen '13 close-range rebound attempt.
Earning good chances throughout the period, the Jeffs finally broke through with just nine seconds remaining in the frame as Erin Martin '16 found Barrett McBride '14 streaking up the right side and Lessard deflected her hard wrist shot from the circle straight to Flom for a pretty rebound finish from the right post.
Having taken over in net after the first period, Kasia Henley '16 kept Amherst within striking distance early in the third with a nice glove save on Kennedy's open look from the right. The Jeffs nearly drew within one with a strong power-play effort several minutes later, but Lessard made six saves during the penalty kill to keep Bowdoin's lead at two.
Henley finished with 12 saves in her two periods of work while Stuart stopped seven in the first.
Before the game, Amherst honored seniors Doyen, Lloyd and Kaitlyn McInnis, a trio which enters this year's postseason with a 75-26-8 career record (.725), two NCAA tournament appearances and the NESCAC and national titles in 2010.
Quarterfinals – Saturday, February 23 (at Higher Seeds)
1:00 pm | 4:00 pm