MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Purple & White logged a shooting percentage of 33% in the first period and Sabrina Dobbins '18 made 30 saves to register her second consecutive shutout of the postseason, as the fifth-seeded Amherst College women's ice hockey team upended second-seeded Connecticut College, 2-0 Saturday afternoon at Kenyon Arena.
With the win, Amherst's overall ledger improves to 14-7-5, while Connecticut College falls to 15-8-3 on the season. Amherst advances to the NESCAC Championship Finals and is set to square off against top-seeded Middlebury College tomorrow, Sunday, March 4 at Kenyon Arena beginning at 2 p.m. The No. 9/8 nationally ranked Camels will now await a potential at-large bid to the NCAA postseason.
The Camels came out strong, owning 13-6 edge in shots on target in the opening period, however the Purple & White displayed outstanding offensive efficiency and tallied goals on two of their six shots to head into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.
Netting her eighth score of the winter, Jocelyn Hunyadi '18 made it a 1-0 contest 11:46 into the matchup. Crashing down the right point to disrupt a Connecticut College clearing attempt, Anne Malloy '20 dished the puck to Alex Toupal '18 at the top of the circle who skated horizontally across the zone and blasted a low slap shot on frame. Camel netminder Katherine Chester came up with the initial save, but Hunyadi was perfectly positioned to one time the rebound into an open goal.
Amherst doubled its led five minutes later as sophomore Katelyn Pantera capitalized on the Purple & White's first power play opportunity of the game following a Connecticut College interference penalty. Dishing a quick, pinpoint pass from the right hash mark, Toupal connected with Pantera on the far post who sent one timer over the pad of the sliding goalkeeper, top shelf.
The Purple & White outshot the Camels, 9-6, but neither team was able to find the back of the net in a scoreless second period as Amherst held on to a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes of action.
Toupal earned a solid chance to record her third point of the day with 7:28 on the clock in the third period, racing towards goal on a shorthanded breakaway with two Camel defenders a step behind. Deking to her forehand, Toupal got a shot off, however Chester made the big pad save to keep the Connecticut College deficit at two.
Responding almost immediately, Katlyn Paiva gathered the puck in her defensive end and skated the length of the ice to earn a 2-on-2. Streaking over the blue line and dishing a drop pass to Elena Gualtieri, Gualtieri nearly made it a one-goal game, but her shot from the high left slot was blockered down by Dobbins who just got her eyes on the puck.
Connecticut College's best scoring chance of the outing arguably came with 6:04 remaining in the third as Kate Kohl powered a slap shot towards goal from the left point. Gaining inside positioning on a defender, Samantha Estes redirected the attempt, but Dobbins proved up to the task as she made the last minute adjustment to smother the shot.
- In between the pipes, Dobbins (7-4-3) registered her second consecutive shutout of the postseason, making 30 saves for Amherst in the win. Chester (13-7-1) racked up 20 total saves for the Camels in the losing effort.
- Connecticut College owned a 30-22 edge in shot differential.
- Toupal, Camille Herzog '17, Pantera, Miriam Eickhoff '19 each put three shots on goal to lead the Purple & White, while Gualtieri led all skaters with five shots on target for the Camels.
- The Purple & White converted on their lone power play opportunity of the game, finishing 1-for-1, while Connecticut College finished 0-for-6 up a skater.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The win advances Amherst to the NESCAC conference finals for the second consecutive season. They will hit the ice against Middlebury in a rematch of last year's Championship bout that saw the Panthers earn a 5-4 overtime victory.