MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Despite several close calls and a 29 save effort be senior goalkeeper Bailey Plaman, the Mammoths were unable to respond to two Panther scores as the third-seeded Amherst College women's ice hockey tell fell to top-seeded Middlebury College, 2-0 in Sunday afternoon's NESCAC Finals matchup at Kenyon Arena.
With the loss, Amherst falls to 16-7-4 in 2017-18, while Middlebury improves to 20-4-3 on the year and captures their third consecutive NESCAC title.
The Mammoths had a pair of quality chances in the opening minutes of the battle, but both scoring bids were denied by the Panther goalie as the netminder made a flashy glove save on a shot by Alex Toupal '18 after a faceoff win before sliding across the crease to just get her left pad on an attempt by Emma Griese '18 two minutes later.
Breaking the deadlock at the 8:56 mark in the second period, Jessica Young capitalized on a turnover in the neutral zone and a dish from Madie Leidt to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. Racing into the offensive zone, Young sniped a wrister from the right dot bar-down.
Lin Han made that score hold through the rest of the period, thwarting Jocelyn Hunyadi's '19 attempt to net the equalizer with another impressive gloves save in the closing minutes of the stanza.
Doubling their lead to 2-0 with 8:55 remaining in regulation, Elizabeth Wulf tallied an insurance goal for the Panthers four seconds after an Amherst penalty expired. Collecting the puck at the top of the point, Haley Lafontaine's wrist shot was redirected by Wulf into the bottom left corner of the goal.
The Mammoths pulled their keeper for an extra attacker for the final 2:03 of the contest, however Amherst was unable to spoil the shutout, as the hosts posted the 2-0 win.
- In between the pipes, Plaman (11-6-4) registered 29 saves for Amherst in the losing effort, while Han (11-3-2) racked up 23 stops in the win for Middlebury.
- Toupal led all skaters with six shots on goal, while Griese put three shots on target.
- The Panthers owned a 31-23 advantage in shot differential.
- Neither side saw success on the power play, with both Amherst and Middlebury finishing 0-for-1.