Jeffs Score Seven Unanswered Goals in Win Over Camels

AMHERST, MA – The top-ranked Amherst College women's ice hockey team improved to 7-1-2 (4-0-1 NESCAC) on the season by scoring seven unanswered goals during a 7-1 win over Connecticut College Friday evening at Orr Rink. The Camels, who have dropped nine straight to the Lord Jeffs, fell to 2-8-1 overall and 1-5-1 in conference play.

The visitors, who were attempting to win back-to-back games for the first time this season, took a 1-0 lead six minutes and 31 seconds into the opening frame only to see Amherst respond with three first-period goals. The Jeffs would add two more in the second period and another pair in the third to increase their unbeaten streak at home to six games.

During its current nine-game winning streak over Connecticut, Amherst has scored 38 goals while allowing only four to the Camels. The Jeffs also increased their unbeaten streak in regular season NESCAC play to 47 games (39-0-8), a dominant stretch that dates back to December of 2006. With Middlebury falling to Trinity in overtime tonight, 2-1, Amherst moved into a tie with Williams for first place in the conference standings. Amherst is drastically outscoring NESCAC opponents this year, 25-3.

At 7-1-2 (.800), the Jeffs match the best 10-game start in program history, which was set last year when they opened the season at 8-2-0 (.800).

Connecticut senior assistant captain Cookie Smith gained possession of the puck after an Amherst turnover in the neutral zone five minutes into the contest and skated toward the net untouched. Smith pulled up and tried to beat Amherst sophomore goaltender Sinead Murphy (Rochester, MN) glove-side, but her shot missed high and wide.

It wouldn't take long for the Camels to get another crack at Murphy, as junior forward Celia Medeiros put home a rebound at the 6:31 mark to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Medeiros' third goal of the season—which was assisted by sophomore Ashleigh Kowtoniuk—marked only the third first-period goal Amherst has allowed this year. It was also only the third goal surrendered by Murphy, who entered the game leading the NESCAC in save percentage (.967) and goals-against average (0.48).

Amherst would quickly take momentum away from the upset-minded Camels, however, scoring two goals in a span of 49 seconds to gain a 2-1 lead. The Jeffs' first goal came just six seconds into a power play at 9:22 when first-year Geneva Lloyd (Calgary, Alberta) ripped a shot from the right side. Connecticut senior goaltender Sara Christopher made a sprawling save, but Amherst sophomore Stephanie Clegg (Woburn, MA) was there to immediately poke in the rebound.

The Jeffs scored on a similar play less than one minute later when sophomore forward Josie Fisher (Norwich, VT) put home a backhanded rebound after another sprawling save by Christopher bounced in front of the net. Amherst would take a 3-1 lead with only 25 seconds remaining before the first intermission when senior Molly Malloy (Stamford, CT) increased her career goal total to 20 with her first tally of the season. Malloy received a pass from behind the net and flipped the puck just underneath the crossbar on Christopher's glove side.

Junior forward Brittney Evans (Edina, MN) scored two goals in the second period to give Amherst a 5-1 lead. Her first came 1:56 into the frame when she skated in from the left side and snuck a shot inside the near post, while her second came off a rebound at the 11:46 mark only eight seconds into a power play. The Camels had three excellent scoring chances in the second period—including breakaways by sophomore Jillian Dolliff and Medeiros that were denied by Murphy—but were unable to find the back of the net.

First-year Amy Leichliter began the third period in net for the Camels and finished with 18 saves during a solid effort, but the Jeffs still managed to score twice in the final 20 minutes. Sophomore Ellen Swiontkowski (Minnetonka, MN) beat Leichliter on a wrist shot to the upper left corner during a power play at 13:06, and junior tri-captain Courtney Hanlon (Fullerton, CA) capped off the scoring with only 1:35 to play on an assist from senior tri-captain Kate Dennett (Highlands Ranch, CO).

Murphy (3-0-2) finished with 14 saves for Amherst, while Christopher stopped 20 shots for Connecticut. The Jeffs will host the Camels Saturday at 3 p.m. with a live webcast available.