Salmon's Overtime Winner Paces No. 2 Amherst Past No. 7 Colby, 2-1

Salmon's Overtime Winner Paces No. 2 Amherst Past No. 7 Colby, 2-1

AMHERST, Mass. - Senior assistant captain Tori Salmon scored the game-winner 10:33 into overtime to break a 1-1 deadlock as the second-seeded Amherst women's hockey team advanced past No. 7 Colby, 2-1 in Saturday evening's NESCAC Quarterfinal contest at Orr Rink.

With the win, Amherst improves to 17-4-4 overall and will take on third-seeded Trinity College after the Bantams topped sixth-seeded Williams College in other quarterfinal action. The Jeffs and Trinity will square off in semifinal action on Saturday, March 7 hosted by top-seeded Middlebury College.

After neither team was able to score in the latter part of the third frame, the sides entered the first overtime period. Just over a minute into the extra stanza, Amherst senior Anne Gillard broke away down the right hand side and put a shot on goal that Colby goalie Jess Thulin paddled back into the center of the zone but the Mules were able to clear the danger. 

Midway through the overtime, the Purple & White went on the power play and rattled off three shots that were blocked, a pair that sailed just wide and a shot each from Salmon and Eileen Harris '16 that were saved by Thulin. After time expired on the penalty, Harris found Salmon who delivered the game-winner at the 10:33 mark. The goal was her team-leading 16th, and is her 101st career point.

Amherst out-shot Colby, 39-30 in the game, including 14-5 in the third period.

In the first 20 minutes of action, Amherst edged Colby, 12-10 in shots on goal behind two shots on target each from Emily Flom '15, Emma Griese '18 and Alex Toupal '18.

Both goaltenders were in top form as Yuna Evans '17 made a terric sprawling save to her left on a shot by Breanna Davis to highlight her 10-save effort in the first period. Thulin made 12 stops for the Mules including a pair of close-range attempts by Flom late in the stanza.

Less than five minutes into the second session, Megan Fortier fired a shot on Evans's blocker side but the Purple & White goalie brushed off the attempt to keep the game even at 0-0. Amherst answered the shot with a blast from the right point by Caroline Bomstein '16, and then a shot in front of the net by Salmon with 14 minutes to play in the second, but Thulin turned away both shots by the Jeffs.

Midway through the second frame, Colby ripped four shots toward net, but a pair of blocks on Breanna Davis and Katie McLaughlin, as well as errant drives by Sasha Fritts and Jaqueline Tavella kept the game scoreless.

With 1:06 to play in the stanza Davis's shot from in front of the crease almost found its way past Evans, but the sophomore covered the puck as neither team was able to score through 40 minutes action. The Mules edged Amherst in shots, 10-7 in the frame and took a 20-19 lead in the contest.

At the 7:39 mark of the third period, Colby broke through when Fortier knocked in the puck following a scramble in front of the net. Brooke Gary provided the helper on the play. The Jeffs answered when Flom notched her 10th goal of the season following an assist from Caitlyn Ryan '17 and Erin Martin '16 at the 9:08 mark to set the score at 1-1.

From there, neither side was able to register the go-ahead goal setting the stage for the Jeffs' dramatic overtime victory.

Salmon and Flom led Amherst with six shots on net each, while Gillard, Toupal and Martin added four apiece.

Evans (10-2-2) made 29 saves to earn the win, while Thulin (10-8-0) suffered the loss after making 37 saves.

The Mules were led by Davis who drove five shots on target.