Hoang Hat Trick Leads Amherst Past William Smith, 4-2

Hoang Hat Trick Leads Amherst Past William Smith, 4-2

AMHERST, Mass. – Kaitlin Hoang '21 registered her first career hat trick, including the game-winner, and Emma Flynn '21 had a hand in all four of the Mammoths' goals as the Amherst College women's hockey team edged William Smith, 4-2, to clinch the weekend sweep Sunday afternoon at Orr Rink.

With the win, Amherst improves to 4-4-1 on the season, while William Smith falls to 10-2-0 overall. Amherst returns to action in 2019 when they travel to conference rival Middlebury on Friday, Jan. 4 for a 7 p.m. NESCAC clash. 

Jumping out to a 1-0 lead 4:19 into the contest, Flynn netted her second goal in as many games to put the Mammoths ahead. Capitalizing on a 3-v-2 opportunity, Jocelyn Hunyadi '19 found linemate Hoang on the right side who quickly dished a pass to Flynn in the slot for the one-time score over the glove of the Herons' keeper.

Assisting on the Mammoths next goal, Flynn connected with Hoang for the score at the 10:10 mark to give the home team a 2-0 edge. Forcing a turnover in the right corner, Flynn's shot from close range deflected off the netminder's shoulder and to Hoang in front who buried the rebound. 

Getting back within striking distance 31 seconds later, Emily Martino got William Smith on the board with assists from MaryKate Martino and Julia Mings. Setting up a take over down the right boards, M. Martino dropped a pass to E. Martino who powered a low shot from the bottom of the circle, five-hole.

Deadlocking the matchup at 2-2 with 6:20 to play before the first intermission, Alison Weiss potted her third goal of the winter with an assist from Lindsay Brown. Taking advantage of a faceoff win, Brown drew the puck back to Weiss on the left wing who sent a low wrist shot past the Amherst keeper, blocker side. 

Retaking the lead with 16:32 on the clock, Hoang and Flynn teamed up for the second time to make it 3-2 in favor of the Mammoths. Picking off a William Smith clearing attempt at the right hash marks, Flynn sent a shot on target that was turned away by the Heron keeper, however the rebound bounced directly to Hoang for the put-back score. 

The Herons made a bid to even things once again following Amherst holding and hooking penalties at the 10:03 and 4:22 marks, however Anna Kruesel '22 stood strong in between the pipes to rack up an impressive seven saves during the two William Smith power plays.

Each side put eight shots on frame in a back-and-forth final 20 minutes of action, however Hoang iced the victory for the Mammoths with 13.3 seconds remaining as she sent an open net goal into the nylon to lift the home team to the 4-2 win.

In goal, Caitlin Walker '22 made six stops for Amherst in the first period, while Kruesel (1-2-0) recorded 20 saves in the winning effort in 40 minutes in relief. Olivia Williams (8-2-0) racked up 27 stops for William Smith in the loss. 

The Mammoths owned a 31-28 edge in shots on target and finished 0-for-3 on the power play, while the Herons went 0-for-4 up a skater.