AMHERST, MA – In a rematch of the 2008 NESCAC Women's Ice Hockey Championship semifinals, fourth-ranked Amherst College picked up a 3-0 win over 10th-ranked Trinity College at Orr Rink to mark the Bantams' first loss of the season. The Lord Jeffs (3-0-0/3-0-0 NESCAC) and Bantams (2-1-0/2-1-0 NESCAC) will face off Sunday, Nov. 30 at 3 p.m. in Hartford to wrap up the weekend.
Amherst got on the scoreboard less than five minutes into the opening period when Kate Dennett (Highlands Ranch, CO) intercepted a pass deep in the Trinity zone. The junior forward turned and headed straight for the net, sneaking a wrist shot past Bantam goaltender Isabel Iwachiw (New York, NY) for her first goal of the season.
The Jeffs nearly made it a 2-0 game five minutes later when a redirected shot bounced off one post before an Amherst player hit the other post on the ensuing rebound. The score remained 1-0 in favor of the hosts after one full period, with Amherst holding a 9-7 advantage in shots on goal.
The Bantams opened the second frame with 1:45 remaining on a power play, and it became a 5-on-3 when the Jeffs were whistled for a holding penalty after junior goaltender Krystyn Elek (Summerville, SC) kicked the puck wide for the first save of the period. With 20 seconds remaining on the second power play, Amherst senior Tarasai Karega (Detroit, MI) found herself on a breakaway but could not pick up the shorthanded goal. Iwachiw defended the breakaway well and forced Karega to fire a shot off the post, as the teams returned to 5-on-5 action with the 1-0 score in tact.
Sophomore Courtney Hanlon (Fullerton, CA) doubled Amherst's lead when she received a drop-back pass from the right side and fired a one-timer past Iwachiw on the near post. Hanlon's first goal of the season—assisted by Karega and senior tri-captain Lindsey Harrington (Westford, MA)—gave the Jeffs a 2-0 lead with 8:30 to play in the second period. Amherst carried its two-goal lead into the second intermission with a 19-16 edge in shots.
Karega found herself on another breakaway four minutes into the third period, but she could not put a solid shot on net with three defenders on her heels, and the Bantams and Jeffs were each whistled for a penalty on the play. Just nine seconds into the 4-on-4 session, Hanlon gave Amherst a 3-0 lead when she went top shelf with a wrist shot from point blank range for her second goal of the game.
Amherst kept the pressure on with a relentless attack, but Iwachiw continued to make spectacular saves to keep her team within striking distance. With 9:51 to play in regulation, Trinity was given another power play opportunity after a holding penalty, but the Jeffs' defense once again came up with a big stop.
Iwachiw came up with a save on yet another Amherst breakaway when Harrington took advantage of a Trinity defender's mishandle, but the senior captain could not give the Jeffs a fourth goal. One minute later, sophomore Kim Weiss (Potomac, MD) had a prime chance to put the Bantams on the board when the puck bounced out of Elek's glove, but the rebound attempt was denied and the visitors could not score despite heavy pressure.
The game's final two minutes featured a 5-on-4 advantage for Trinity, but Elek hung on for her first shutout of the season. Iwachiw finished with 30 saves for the Bantams, while Elek stopped 25 shots to improve to 2-0-0 on the season.
Amherst increased its unbeaten streak against NESCAC opponents to 35 games.