AMHERST, Mass. – The Mammoths battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie things with 15 minutes to play, however a late push by the Ephs stood as the difference maker as the Amherst College women's hockey team fell to archrival Williams, 5-2 Saturday evening at the programs 7th annual Pink in the Rink fundraiser benefitting the Cancer Connection of Northampton at Orr Rink.
With the loss, Amherst falls to 9-5-2 on the season and to 5-5-2 in league play, while Williams improves to 13-4-1 overall (8-4-0 NESCAC). Amherst returns to the ice on Wednesday, Jan. 30 when they travel to Plymouth St. for a 6 p.m. non-conference bout.
Capitalizing on an Amherst bench minor for too many skaters on the ice 4:33 into the contest, Gabby Montembeault potted her third goal of the winter to put the visitors ahead early, 1-0. Working the puck around the zone, Delaney Szlezyngier's shot from the left point was deflected by Bri Laycock to Montembeault on the far post for the score.
The Mammoths' best chance of the opening period came with 6:08 on the clock as Kaitlin Hoang '21 snuck behind the Ephs' defense and looked to redirect a shot from Miriam Eickhoff '19 past the Williams' keeper, but Chloe Heiting stood strong to stonewall the attempt.
Doubling the visitors lead midway through the second stanza, Avery Dunn made it 2-0 with assists from Amanda Reisman and Szlezyngier. Racing into the zone down the right boards, Reisman's shot from the dot was turned away, however Dunn was there to put the rebound home.
Getting on the board at the 38 seconds later, the Mammoths returned the favor with a power play score of their own following a too many skaters on the ice call. In a near identical play to Amherst's close call in the first, Hoang was able to sneak a redirect inside the right post. Eickhoff and Jocelyn Hunyadi '19 were credited with the assists on the play.
Deadlocking the contest at two all five minutes into the third period, Jamie McNamara '19 beat the Ephs keeper, sending a shot off a rebound over the goalie's glove and into the top right corner. Eickhoff had the initial attempt on the score.
Responding at the 11:50 mark, Williams retook the lead behind Abby Brustad's sixth goal of the season. In an unassisted effort, Brustad curled out of the left corner and powered a shot from the dot off the keeper and over the goal line.
The Ephs regained a two-goal edge three minutes later. Caitlin Walker '22 was up to the initial task, making impressive stops on back-to-back shots by Rush and Mia Carroll, however she was unable to get a pad on the attempt by Meghan Halloran.
Up a skater with time winding down, Halloran tallied a final insurance goal for the Ephs, sending a wrist shot over the blocker of the netminder while up a skater.
In between the pipes, Walker (6-5-2) made 31 saves for Amherst in the losing effort, while Heiting (10-2-0) registered 24 stops for Williams in the win.
The Ephs owned a 36-26 advantage in shots on frame and finished 2-for-2 on the power play, while the Mammoths went 1-for-3 up a skater.