AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women's hockey team concluded its regular season with a dominating performance against visiting SUNY Cortland, improving to 16-5-3 with the 8-1 victory. The Red Dragons (6-14-2) will conclude their regular season next weekend with a pair of home games against Plattsburgh, while the Lord Jeffs will begin their postseason Saturday.
Amherst was on the scoreboard just one minute and 37 seconds into the contest, as sophomore Anna MacLean (Edina, MN) snuck a point-blank wrist shot just under the crossbar and by the shoulder of Cortland goaltender Olivia Nuzzo to give the Jeffs a 1-0 lead. The visitors found themselves on a two-man disadvantage less than two minutes later, and were unable to hold off the Amherst attack. MacLean crossed the puck from the right side to an open Kate Dennett (Highland Ranch, CO) on the left side, allowing the first-year to send a one-timer to the back of the net.
The Jeffs increased their lead to 3-0 just 1:15 later when senior tri-captain Kirsten Forsberg (Kenilworth, IL) sent a crisp pass from behind the net to junior Natanya Khazzam (Montreal, Quebec), who sent a one-timer low and to Nuzzo's right side, giving Amherst a three-goal advantage with 13:32 remaining in the opening frame.
Amherst went on another 5-on-3 advantage with 1:54 remaining in the first period, and again made it count when first-year Kirsten Dier (Appleton, WI) put a one-timer past Nuzzo. The Jeffs dominated the entire period, out-shooting the Red Dragons 21-1 to take a 4-0 lead into the locker room.
The lead was increased to five goals just 1:29 into the second frame when junior Katharine Kelly (Shorewood, WI) finished off a set-up by Khazzam to give Amherst a 5-0 lead. The visitors nearly got on the board four-and-a-half minutes into the period, but senior goaltender Lindsay Grabowski (Princeton, NJ) kicked away a hard shot to her left side to preserve the shutout.
Amherst's sixth goal came 10:12 into the second frame, marking the third power-play goal for the Jeffs on the day and the third goal of the week for Harrington. A seventh goal nearly came with just under three minutes on the clock, but Nuzzo came up with a nice save on an Amherst breakaway. Senior Rachel Simon (West Orange, NJ) was in the right place, however, as she knocked home the rebound to give Amherst a 7-0 lead. MacLean bumped it to 8-0 less than two minutes later, as her second goal of the game came in shorthanded fashion before the game headed into the second intermission.
Cortland got on the board 14 minutes into the final period when senior tri-captain Judy Ellis broke away from the pack and slid the puck past Grabowski's outstretched right leg. The Red Dragons played much more efficiently in the third frame, maintaining possession of the puck for longer and holding Amherst scoreless for the entire 20 minutes. Amherst held an 8-1 advantage at the sound of the final horn, as the Jeffs walked away with their 16th victory of the season.
Grabowski finished the day with 11 saves, while Nuzzo stopped 43 shots on the day. The Lord Jeffs return to action Feb. 24, when they will host archrival Williams College in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC Championship Tournament. Amherst and Williams split their regular season series, with the Ephs winning early in the season and the Jeffs pulling off a 5-4 overtime victory last weekend.