AMHERST, Mass. – Extending their winning streak to six games, the Mammoths found the back of the net in all three periods and struck for three power play goals as the Amherst College women's hockey team skated past non-conference foe Suffolk University, 5-1, in the first-ever meeting between the sides Thursday evening at Orr Rink.
With the win, Amherst improves to 14-4-4 on the season, while Suffolk falls to 7-14-3 overall.
Breaking open scoring with 5:55 remaining in the first period, senior captain Eliza Laycock took advantage of a Ram's high sticking penalty to give the home team a 1-0 lead and notch her second score of the winter. Controlling the puck inside Suffolk territory, Laycock tipped a blast from Mia DelRosso '21 from the point between the legs of the Rams keeper.
Doubling the Mammoths' advantage just over two minutes later, Jillian Mazzocca '23 netted her team-leading ninth goal of the year with assists from Kaitlin Hoang '21 and Ava Simoncelli '20. Skating vertically across the Rams' blue line to gain space, Mazzocca cut back on her defender before sneaking a shot under the blocker of the netminder and into the lower left corner.
Threatening once again to add to the scoresheet 25 seconds into the second stanza, Anne Malloy '23 had a solid chance for Amherst as she won the battle behind the net for the puck. Stepping out to the front of the net, Malloy looked to slide a shot inside the far right post, but a diving stop by Julia McLellan kept the Rams' deficit at two.
Getting the visitors back into contention midway through the period, Maddy Burton potted her 10th goal of the season with an unassisted effort to set the score at 2-1. Forcing a turnover on an attempted regroup to earn a breakaway, Burton sniped a bar-down snap shot over the glove of the Mammoths' keeper.
Nearly evening the score with 9:34 on the clock, Madison Ricardo had another 1-v-0 chance for the Rams following a breakout pass from Cassidy Gruning, however Caitlin Walker '22 stood strong on the line for Amherst as she met Ricardo's shot from the slot aimed for the top left corner with a blocker save.
Retaking a two-goal edge 3:40 before the second intermission, senior Ava Simoncelli logged her first goal of the winter to put the Mammoths ahead, 3-1. Gloving down a pass from Mazzocca that was tipped by a defender on a 2-v-1, Simoncelli quickly turned and slid a shot on the ice past McLellan.
Tallying her second goal of the night with 12:17 remaining in regulation, Mazzocca made the most of a 5-v-3 power play with a helper from Stephanie Nomicos '23. Corralling Nomicos's dish on the left dot, Mazzocca ripped a low, perfectly placed wrister into the far corner.
Looking to counter with a power play score of their own with just under 10 minutes to play, Shana Cote nearly sparked a momentum swing for the Rams after a low shot from the point from Madison Duff was deflected to the left post. Walker once again proved up to the task however, as she made the adjustment just in time to smother Cote's attempt.
Simoncelli had the final dagger and the third Amherst power play goal to lift the home team to the 5-1 victory as she rolled out of the left corner and drove a shot over the goal line to ice the win with 2:19 to go.
In between the pipes, Walker (13-4-4) registered 20 stops to earn the win for Amherst, while McLellan (3-11-2) racked up 31 saves for the Rams in the losing effort.
The Mammoths owned a 36-21 edge in shots on frame and finished 3-for-5 on the power play, while Suffolk went 0-for-3 up a skater.
Amherst returns to action next Friday, Feb. 21 when they host Colby College to close out the regular season. Opening faceoff in the first game of the series is slated for 7:00PM.