2nd-Ranked Lord Jeffs Blasts Bowdoin on Senior Day, 5-0

AMHERST, MA – The 2nd-ranked Amherst College women's hockey team played host to NESCAC rival Bowdoin College this afternoon at Orr Rink for the second time in as many days. The Amherst offense exploded in a 5-0 shutout win, improving the team's record to 15-2-4 (10-1-3 NESCAC) on the year. The Polar Bears dropped to 9-9-2 (6-5-1) with the loss.

Prior to the start of today's game, Amherst honored the five members of the women's hockey Class of 2010, who were taking the ice for their final regular-season conference home game. Tri-captains Kirsten Dier (Appleton, WI) and Kate Dennett (Highlands Ranch, CO) were joined by classmates Alyssa Chwick (Purchase, NY), Michelle McGann (New Berlin, WI) and Molly Malloy (Stamford, CT) on the ice for a brief presentation that honored their achievements for the Lord Jeffs. During their time at Amherst, the Jeffs have already won a pair of NESCAC titles (2007, 2008) and the program's first National Championship (2009). With today's win, the Class of 2010 improved its career record to 79-18-11 for Amherst.

Amherst jumped all over Bowdoin at the start of the game, holding the puck in the offensive zone for three full minutes to start the game. Half a minute later, Amherst went on the power play, making it nearly impossible for the Polar Bears to relieve the pressure. The Jeffs didn't score on the power play, but just seconds after play went back to even strength, rookie Geneva Lloyd (Calgary, Alberta) took a puck from inside Amherst's own end all the way down for a 2-on-1 breakaway. Lloyd elected to shoot from the left circle, beating Bowdoin netminder Kayla Lessard glove side.

With just over two minutes to play in the first period, Amherst took a 2-0 lead as junior Cianna Wyshnytzky (Hawthorn Woods, IL) punched home a rebound from just off the left side of the crease. Assists on the second goal were awarded to Dier and first-year Megan Doyen (Ortonville, MI). At the end of the opening period, Amherst held a dominating 23-2 edge in shots on goal.

Just after the midpoint of the second period, Amherst's Ellen Swiontkowski (Minnetonka, MN) came flying down the left wing before centering a pass for sophomore classmate Emily Vitale (Cheshire, CT). Vitale was held off by a Polar Bear defender as she lashed at the puck and put a shot on net that Lessard deflected wide of the goal.

Late in the second period, Amherst went on a 5-on-3 power play, but was unable to score until there were just 11 seconds remaining on the following 5-on-4 effort. With 2:22 to play in the stanza, Dennett turned in the slot to put a shot under Lessard. Lloyd and Randi Zukas (Glen Head, NY)  picked up the helper on the power-play score.

Early in the third period, Zukas centered a puck in the air that McGann batted mid-flight past Lessard for Amherst's fourth score, and just before the midpoint of the stanza, Amherst made it 5-0 on a goal by Malloy off a scramble in front of the Bowdoin net, with Chwick grabbing one of the assists.

Amherst's dominance continued until the final horn went off, closing out the weekend with a commanding 5-0 result for the Jeffs. Amherst goaltender Caroline Hu (Cerritos, CA) had to make just 17 saves for the shutout win, improving her record to 9-1-1 on the year. Lessard faced 45 shots from Amherst, making 40 saves in the loss for Bowdoin.

The Lord jeffs will take to the road next weekend for a pair of NESCAC games at archrival Williams College, before closing out the regular season with a non-conference home game against Norwich on February 20 at 7:30 p.m.