Walker Nabs Career-High 43 Saves as Amherst Battles Ephs to Scoreless Draw

Walker Nabs Career-High 43 Saves as Amherst Battles Ephs to Scoreless Draw

AMHERST, Mass – Caitlin Walker '22 racked up a career-high 43 saves in the cage and the Mammoths peppered the visitors with 34 shots, however neither side was able to get the best of the opposing keeper as the Amherst College women's ice hockey team battled archrival Williams College to a 0-0 overtime tie Friday evening at Orr Rink.

With the draw, Amherst moves to 8-3-3 on the season and to 3-2-2 in league play, while Williams moves to 7-4-2 overall (4-2-1 NESCAC). The sides finish off their home-and-home regular season series tomorrow evening, with Amherst taking the ice at Lansing Chapman Rink beginning at 7:00PM.

The Ephs owned a 11-9 edge in shots on target in an exciting first period, with both keepers needing to come up with impressive stops to keep the sides in a scoreless deadlocked.

CC Wallin and Elizabeth Welch had the visitors' best chances of the stanza, with Wallin driving a low shot through traffic from the right point with 16:45 on the clock and Welch ripping a wrister from the left dot on frame as she looked to capitalize on a 2-v-1 with 2:30 to play before the break. Up to the task, Walker continued to be a brick wall in net for the Mammoths, tracking Wallin's shot to come up with the right pad save and deflecting Welch's attempt off her mask.

Amherst first scoring chance of the contest came six minutes into action, with Emma Flynn '21 and Sarah Melanson '20 testing the Ephs' netminder with back-to-back shots before Carley Daly '23 earned an opportunity in the 18th minute. Reigning NESCAC Player of the Week Chloe Heiting matched Walker's efforts in frame, turning away E. Flynn's shot from the bottom of the right circle and Melanson's backhander from point-blank range in the ensuing scrum and smothering Daly's wrister from the right hashmarks after a turnover gave the home team a 2-v-1.

The goalie battled roared on over the next 40 minutes of regulation, highlighted by a 19-save second stanza by Walker. 

One of Walker's best stops of the night came with 1:29 on the clock in the second, with a neutral zone regroup giving the Ephs an odd-woman rush. Putting a wrist shot on frame from the left dot, Walker met Maddie Tix's attempt with a kick stop before pushing across the crease to the far post in just enough time to stonewall Meghan Halloran's shot on the rebound.

Continuing to frustrate the Mammoths in the third, Heiting stole a score from Kate Pohl '23 as she somehow held on to Pohl's last-minute redirect on a shot from Avery Flynn '23.

Amherst held momentum through much of overtime, outshooting the visitors 5-2, but neither team was able to clinch the win before the clock hit zero.

In between the pipes, Walker (7-3-3) registered 43 saves in the draw for the Mammoths, while Heiting (5-4-1) made 34 stops for Williams.

The Ephs owned a 43-34 edge in shots on target in the matchup and went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Amherst finished 0-for-2 up a skater.