Strong Start, Shut Down Defense Pushes Amherst Past Archrival Williams, 3-1

Strong Start, Shut Down Defense Pushes Amherst Past Archrival Williams, 3-1

AMHERST, Mass. – Bailey Plaman '18 registered 47 stops in goal and the Mammoths opened the contest with three unanswered scores as the Amherst College women's ice hockey team defeated archrival Williams, 3-1 Friday evening at Orr Rink.

With the win, Amherst's overall ledger improves to 10-5-3 and to 6-3-2 in league action, while Williams falls to 9-5-5 overall (3-4-4 NESCAC). The sides wrap up their two-game series tomorrow, Jan. 27 when they face off at Lansing Chapman Rink in Williamstown beginning at 7 p.m.

The Mammoths needed just 1:07 to claim a 1-0 lead as Jocelyn Hunyadi '19 netted her fifth score of the winter following an impressive individual effort play. Stripping a defender of the puck as she cut across the high slot, Hunyadi quickly turned to her forehand and sent a snap shot from the right hash into the top left corner. 

Threatening six minutes later, Hallie Whitmore nearly tallied the equalizer with 7:12 on the clock as her aggressive forecheck forced an Amherst turnover at the top of the circle. Corralling the puck and racing towards goal on a breakaway, Whitmore's shot was just turned away as Plaman  came up with a fantastic right pad kick save.

Doubling Amherst's advantage with 6:41 remaining in the stanza, Miriam Eickhoff '19 capitalized on an Eph interference penalty to notch the Mammoths' 16th power play score of the season. Gathering a dish from Alex Toupal '18 at the top of the blue line, Eickhoff rifled a wrist shot through traffic over the blocker of the Williams' keeper.

The sides traded opportunities throughout the majority of the second period as Katie Savage '19 rang a shot off the post at the 14:07 mark and Candace Lu nearly snuck a hard shot on the ice from the left point past the Amherst netminder with 12:02 to play.

Extending the Mammoths' lead with time winding down, Toupal teamed up with Eliza Laycock '20 to set the score at 3-0 heading in to the second intermission. Speeding into the zone on a 2-v-1, Toupal found Laycock on the far right post who redirected the puck over the goal line. 

Avoiding the shut out, Annie Rush found nylon with 5:31 remaining in regulation as she cut across the zone and ripped a wrist shot into the bottom left corner of the net as she fell to the ice to bring Williams within two. Abby Brustad was credited with the assist on the scoring play. 

Pulling their goaltender, the Ephs made every effort to pull off a late comeback effort, however Amherst stood strong in the defensive zone to capture the 3-1 victory.

GAME NOTES

  • In between the pipes, Plaman (7-4-3) racked up 47 saves in the winning effort for Amherst, while Christina Cleroux (3-3-4) made 31 stops for the Ephs.
  • Williams owned a 48-34 advantage in shot differential in the matchup behind a 23 shot third period.
  • The Mammoths finished 1-for-3 on the power play, while Williams went 0-for-2 up a skater.