AMHERST, Mass. – After falling behind early, the Mammoths exploded for seven unanswered goals, including three in the second period, as the No. 9 Amherst College women's ice hockey team downed Plymouth State, 7-1 Wednesday evening at Orr Rink.
With the win, Amherst improves to 12-5-3 on the season, while Plymouth State falls to 6-11-4 overall. Next hitting the ice in a week's time, Amherst is set to host Hamilton on Friday, Feb. 9 in conference play beginning at 7 p.m.
Shannon Hickey gave the visitors an early lead, finding the back of the net 1:45 into the matchup to put the Panthers ahead, 1-0. Taking a dish from Hannah Elmer at the right point, Amanda McPhearson snuck a shot on the ice through traffic that was met with a kick save, however Hickey was perfectly positioned to collect the rebound as she sent a backhander past the keeper.
Responding nine minutes later at the 8:41 mark, Ava Simoncelli '20 brought the tilt back to a deadlock with her second score of the winter. Picking up the loose puck at center ice, Simoncelli raced down the right side and powered a wrist shot from the right dot into the bottom left corner.
Tallying her NESCAC-leading 12th goal of the year, Alex Toupal '18 gave the Mammoths their first lead of the game with 6:12 remaining in the stanza. Collecting a pass from Katie Savage '19 in the low slot, Toupal deked out a defender as she moved to her backhand and drove her attempt over the glove of the Panther goaltender.
Amherst needed just 1:13 to extend its advantage to 3-1 at the start of the second. Alex Rajsigl made an agile stick save on a shot by Toupal as she cut to her forehand, but Savage beat her defender in a race to the rebound and stuffed the puck over the goal line.
Keeping Plymouth State within striking distance, Rajsigl came up with a highlight reel stop at the 6:42 mark as she slid across the crease and just got her pad on a point-blank attempt on the backdoor by Savage.
Emma Griese '18 netted the first of two Mammoth scores in the final three minutes of the period with 2:36 on the clock, as the senior redirected Anne Malloy 's '20 shot from the point into the nylon. Following Griese's lead 32 seconds later, Toupal notched her second score of the battle to give Amherst a 5-1 cushion. Gathering a pass from Emma Flynn '21 at the offensive blue line, Toupal cut across the zone and ripped a wrister five-hole.
Registering her second hat trick in as many games, Toupal made it 6-1 in favor of the visitors following a Panther checking penalty with 14:39 remaining in regulation. Finding space and time in the slot, Toupal rifled a shot into the bottom left corner. Jocelyn Hunyadi '19 and Kristen Molina '18 were credited with the assists on the play.
The Panthers best chance of the stanza came at the 9:22 mark as Amber Thomas and Taylor Jackson each put a shot on target from point-blank range while looking to capitalize on a scrum in front of the net, but Sabrina Dobbins '18 stood strong in between the pipes to keep the score at 6-1.
Savage capped off the victory for Amherst, tallying her second score of the day with 2:44 remaining to lift the Mammoths to the 7-1 win.
- In goal, Dobbins '18 (4-1-0) made 20 saves for the Mammoths in the winning effort, while Rajsigl (1-4-0) recorded 50 stops for the Panthers in the loss.
- Amherst owned a dominative 57-21 advantage in shot differential, including a 23-3 edge in the second period.
- Up a skater, the Mammoths finished 1-for-3, while Plymouth State went 0-for-1.