AMHERST, MA – The 4th-ranked Amherst College women's ice hockey team returned home to Orr Rink this evening to face-off against the visiting Continentals of Hamilton College in NESCAC play. The Lord Jeffs improved to 7-2-0 on the year (7-0-0 NESCAC) with an impressive 6-2 win, while Hamilton fell to 4-6-0 (1-4-0).
The Lord Jeffs needed less than two minutes to get on the board, as senior forward Anna MacLean (Edina, MN) punched home her own rebound past Hamilton net-minder Meg Shine. The unassisted tally came just 1:53 into the first period.
With the score still 1-0, Amherst caught a break near the middle of the first period as Shine was whistled for interference. The Jeffs were held scoreless on the power-play, with Shine redeeming herself just seconds after the penalty released with a beautiful glove save on a shot from Amherst's Josie Fisher (White River Junction, VT).
The Continentals were called for another interference penalty with 5:40 to play in the first, but Shine stood up to the test with a handful of saves on the kill. Just moments later, a pass from Amherst goaltender Krystyn Elek (Summerville, SC) was mishandled near the red line. Hamilton's Riley Smith scooped up the loose puck and fired a wrist shot past Elek's glove side to the top shelf for an equalizer.
Amherst spent the final 80 seconds of the first period on the power play once again, but Hamilton had the best chance of the shift on a short-handed breakaway. Elek was up to the task though, making a solid save with her stick.
The Lord Jeffs regained the lead midway through the second period on a great slashing move by sophomore Julia Koch (Rochester Hills, MI). After taking the feed from first-year Emily Vitale (Cheshire, CT), Koch sliced across the slot from left to right, and fired a wrist shot back across Shine's goal and inside the post.
Once again as the period came toward a close, Amherst was sent on the power play. The Jeffs would not be denied this time, as sophomore Courtney Hanlon (Fullerton, CA) and junior Kate Dennett (Highlands Ranch, CO) found senior Michelle McGann (New Berlin, WI) on the crease for the tap-in score.
Amherst seemingly put a final nail in the coffin less than two minutes into the third period when MacLean found sophomore Braidie Campbell (Surrey, BC) for the Jeffs' fourth goal. Hamilton cut the deficit back down to two goals at 4-2 just moments later when Christie Sharlow found Kathryn Kroleski for Hamilton's second goal.
With nine minutes to play in the third period, Amherst had a goal waved off for high-sticking. The Jeffs were unfazed by the call, and less than a minute later Hanlon put home an assist from senior tri-captain Lindsey Harrington (Westford, MA). Just one minute later, McGann put home her second of the night to increase Amherst's advantage to 6-2.
When the final whistle blew, Amherst walked away with a convincing win, and a dominating third period performance. Elek was solid in net for Amherst, making 19 saves, while Shine turned away 43 Amherst attempts between the pipes for Hamilton.
Amherst returns to action tomorrow when they host Wesleyan University in NESCAC and Little Three play at 3 p.m.