Amherst Tops Red Hot Conn. College 6-1

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women's hockey team toppled the visiting Camels of Conn. College this evening at Orr Rink, 6-1. Conn. College came into the game red hot of late, winners of four of their previous five games, and scored the first goal of the night before Amherst answered with six straight scores.

Amherst jumped out of the gate early, holding the puck deep in the Conn. zone for much of the first ten minutes of play. The Lord Jeffs created a number of solid scoring chances, but were unable to capitalize. Nine minutes into the first period, Amherst was whistled for a tripping penalty as junior Meg Quinn's (Wakefield, MA) stick was caught under a Camel forward's skates.

Conn. wasted no time on the ensuing power-play scoring what would be their only goal when first-year Erin Davey (Nashua, NH) scored her fifth tally of the season. First-year Stephanie Quinn (Arlington, MA) and sophomore Farrell Thayer (Littleton, CO) registered the assists on Davey's goal.

The Amherst team was significantly smaller than the Conn. College squad, and was called for a number of penalties in the first period, as the Lord Jeffs struggled to match the muscle of the Camels. Amherst had the edge in the speed category, especially when sophomore forward Lindsey Harrington (Westford, MA) was on the ice.

Deep in the first period, Harrington broke free from her defender, carrying the puck in on Conn. goaltender Sara Christopher, before she was hauled down from behind and sent sliding into the net. The Camel defender was called for hooking, and Amherst was able to close the first period with 1:47 remaining on the power-play.

Seven minutes into the second period, Amherst found the net for the equalizer during a five-on-four power-play. Senior defender Rachel Simon (West Orange, NJ) corralled a loose puck out near the blue line, and swung a wrist shot in front of the Conn. net where first-year Kristen Dier (Appleton, WI) was waiting to deflect it. Dier poked the shot wide, where points-leader Tarasai Karega ((Detroit, MI) took over, punching home the perfectly played deflection for her tenth goal of the year.

With eight minutes left in the second period, and the score knotted at one goal apiece, Amherst was rewarded with a 5-on-3 advantage when two Conn. players were whistled for penalties during the same delayed call. Karega found the net again for the go-ahead goal with 7:06 left in the period, releasing a single Camel from the box, when she batted home a Dier shot.

Just three-and-a-half minutes later, Karega completed her second-period hat trick when she buried a low shot past Mellen on a breakaway. Amherst finished the second period up 3-1, looking to seal their tenth win of the season with one more solid period.

Halfway through the third period, Simon registered her third assist of the night when first-year forward Molly Malloy (Stamford, CT) slotted home a Harrington cross-ice pass. The score was the  fourth of the season for Malloy, who needed only three minutes more to net her fifth goal, giving Amherst the 5-1 edge.

In the last minute of the game, Karega pounced on a loose puck and rattled it off the post, nearly netted her fourth goal of the game, as first-year Michelle McGann (New Berlin, WI) finished off the rush for her third goal of the season.

Tonight's three goal game is the second consecutive game in which Karega has registered a hat trick, which will help her make a strong case for player of the week honors.

The Lord Jeffs return to action when they travel to face Bowdoin College on Friday Jan. 19th at 7 p.m.