AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst College women's hockey head coach Jeff Matthews earned his 100th career victory on Saturday night, as the Mammoths netted two goals in the final seven minutes to rally past Bowdoin College, 3-2 at Orr Rink.
With the win, Amherst improves to 5-5-2 on the season and to 2-3-2 in league play, while Bowdoin drops to 1-11-1 overall (0-5-0). The sides return to the ice tomorrow, Sunday, Jan. 13 when the teams wrap up the series at Orr Rink beginning at 3 p.m.
The sides combined for 27 shots in an energetic first period, however neither side was able to grab the advantage in the fist 20 minutes of action.
One the the Mammoths' best chances in the opening period came at the 16:34 mark, as Miriam Eickhoff '19 ripped a wrist shot from the left hash off the knob of the goalkeepers' stick, however Kerri St. Denis stayed calm under pressure, smothering the follow-up attempt on the rebound to keep the contest scoreless.
Earning a close call of their own a minute later, Angelina Joyce nearly broke the deadlock as she gathered a pass from the right corner in the high slot, but her wrister from point-blank range sailed inches wide.
Getting on the board 1:27 into the second stanza, senior Katelyn Pantera buried her fourth goal of the winter to put the home team ahead. Weaving through the defense after picking up the puck at mid-ice, Eickhoff set up the scoring play as she found Pantera on the far left post for the open net score. Jamie McNamara '19 was credited with the secondary assist on the goal.
Responding just over three minutes later, the Polar Bears evened things up at one all at the 4:58 mark. Corralling a pass from Allison Britt at the offensive blue line, Marissa Fichter cut across the zone before powering a shot from the right dot off the Mammoths' keeper and over the goal line to tally her third score of the season.
Registering Bowdoin's second straight goal at the 11:23 mark in the third period, Joyce gave the visitors its first lead after her wrist shot from the top of the left circle deflected off the shoulder of the Amherst keeper and into the nylon.
Battling back two minutes later, Pantera potted her second goal of the contest to pull the sides even. Blasting a shot from the point, Elizabeth Holubiak '22 attempt was knocked down and landed at the stick of McNamara who dished a quick pass to Pantera on the far left post for the one-time score.
Miranda Bell made one final bid to net the equalizer with time winding down, ripping a shot from the high slot on frame with three seconds remaining, however Anna Kruesel '22 stood strong to make the clutch save and secure the 3-2 victory.
In between the pipes, Kruesel (2-2-0) racked up 32 saves in the winning effort for Amherst, while St. Denis (0-9-0) made 39 stops for Bowdoin in the loss.
The Mammoths owned a 42-34 edge in shots on target and finished 0-for-2 on the power play, while the Polar Bears went 0-for-1 up a skater.