AMHERST, Mass. – Four different Purple & White skaters netted scores, as the Amherst College women's ice hockey team defeated Wesleyan University, 4-2 Sunday afternoon at Orr Rink.
With the win, Amherst improves to 12-7-5 on the season and to 6-5-5 in league play, while Wesleyan falls to 7-11-5 overall (4-9-3 NESCAC). Amherst returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 25 when they take the ice for a NESCAC Quarterfinal matchup at Trinity College at a time yet to be determined.
Claiming a 1-0 lead almost immediately, Jocelyn Hunyadi '19 netted her second goal in as many games just 28 seconds into the opening period to put Amherst ahead by one. Carrying the puck into the offensive end on a 2-v-1, Alex Toupal '18 connected with Hunyadi on the left post who one-touched the puck into the open net.
Lynndy Smith '17 nearly doubled Amherst's lead at the 17:42 mark, following a great hustle play by Toupal. Stealing the puck in the defensive zone, Toupal skated the length of the ice and bought time in the corner before sending a pass to Smith all alone in the high slot, but the Wesleyan goalie came up with the kick save and smothered Smith's attempt on the rebound.
Evening the contest with 1:22 to play in the first stanza, Rachel Aronow teamed up with Bridget Sherman to set the score at 1-1. Gathering a pass from Aronow in the high slot, Sherman ripped a shot on target that deflected off an Amherst defender and into the top corner of the goal, blocker side.
Responding less than a minute later, the Purple & White retook the lead with 29 seconds on the clock. Gaining space near the right dot, Anne Malloy's '20 dished a pass to Emma Griese '18 in front of the goal who redirected the puck to Jamie McNamara '19 on the far post. One-timing a quick shot on frame, McNamara beat Allegra Grant five-hole to make it a 2-1 game.
Wesleyan's best chance of the second period came at the 5:59 mark, as Gina Mangiafridda and Alicia Nickolenko tested Amherst goalkeeper Bailey Plaman '18 with back-to-back shots from point blank range following a scrum in front of the net, but Plaman came up with the cutch saves.
Amherst extended their lead to 3-1 with 4:01 remaining in the period, as a turn over on the offensive blue line lead to a 3-v-0 for the Purple & White. Racing towards goal, Katie Savage '19 faked a deke to freeze the Cardinal netminder before dropping a pass to Katelyn Pantera '19 for the easy tap in score.
Potting the final goal of the regular season for the Purple & White, Savage made it a 4-1 contest with 3:02 on the clock in regulation. Following up a 2-v-2 opportunity, Savage found Sara Culhane's '17 rebound in the slot and roofed a snap shot over the shoulder of Grant.
Allie Damren tallied the final score of the game, entering the zone on a 2-v-2 and ripping a well-placed wrist shot into the bottom left corner of the goal with 45 seconds remaining as Amherst secure the 4-2 victory.
- In goal, Plaman (6-3-2) made 25 saves in the winning effort for the Purple & White, while Grant (6-8-3) recorded 42 stops for the Cardinals in the loss.
- Amherst owned a dominative 46-27 edge in shots on target including a 23-6 advantage in the first period.
- Neither team saw success on the power play, with both sides going 0-for-3.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Today's game marked Senior Day for the Purple & White who will graduate seven seniors following the 2016-17 season, including: forward and team manager Ali Ahn, defender and captain Caitlyn Ryan, defender and captain Lynndy Smith, defender Camille Herzog, forward Audrey Duquette, forward Molly Connolly, and forward Sara Culhane.
- As a class, this year's seniors have compiled an overall mark of 63-22-17, a .703 winning percentage, with a 37-12-14 record against NESCAC opponents and a 34-8-7 record at home. During that time, Amherst has outscored opponents 313-154 and has won three Little Three Titles, qualified for three consecutive NESCAC Championship tournaments, including a berth to the NESCAC Finals in 2015-16, and earned a bid to the NCAA postseason.