Women's Hockey Plays Connecticut College to 2-2 Draw in Season Opener

Women's Hockey Plays Connecticut College to 2-2 Draw in Season Opener

AMHERST, Mass. – Jamie McNamara '19 gave the Mammoths the edge with less than 14 minutes remaining in regulation and Caitlin Walker '22 racked up 33 stops in an impressive collegiate debut in frame, however a late equalizer by the visitors was enough to force a deadlock as the Amherst College women's ice hockey team and Connecticut College played to a 2-2 overtime tie in their 2018-19 season opener Friday evening at Orr Rink.

With the draw, both Amherst and Connecticut College move to 0-0-1 on the young season. The sides will face off again tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 17 when they hit the ice at Orr Rink at 3 p.m. 

Wasting no time netting the Mammoths first goal of the winter, senior Jocelyn Hunyadi beat the Camels goalkeeper just 1:46 into the contest to put Amherst ahead, 1-0. Capitalizing on a noteworthy individual effort play, Hunyadi intercepted a breakout pass near the right hash before sending a wrister from the bottom of the circle over the shoulder of the netminder, near side.

A strong rookie debut in between the pipes by Walker was highlighted at the 13:40 mark in the second stanza, with the first-year goalie racking up four quick stops in a seven second span to keep the visitors scoreless while on the power play.

Breaking through with 9:17 remaining in the second period, Sammi Estes deadlocked the battle at 1-1 with assist from Catherine Lawrence and Natalie Witkowski. Working the puck around the zone, Witkowski's attempted centering pass rang off the side of the net before being picked up by Lawrence who quickly sent a dish to Estes in front of the goal. One-timing a shot on target, Estes powered the puck off the keeper and into the nylon. 

Raring to go out of the gate in the third, Laura Schmidlein '19 set up a scoring chance for the Mammoths 59 seconds into the period as she split the defense and sent a pass to McNamara all alone, however the Camels keeper stood strong in frame and turned away McNamara's shot from the right dot.

Undeterred, McNamara gave Amherst a 2-1 lead 5:27 later to give the home team the edge with less than 14 minutes on the clock. Picking the puck up in the Mammoths' defensive zone, Katelyn Pantera '19 skated the length of the ice before dishing out a perfect stick-to-stick pass to McNamara on the far right post for the one-touch score. 

Tying the game with 4:49 remaining in regulation, Jordan Cross couldn't have picked a better time to score her first goal of the season. Playing four-on-four after an Amherst hooking and a Connecticut College embellishment penalty, the Camels took advantage of the extra space as Ellie Branka sent a pass to Erin Healy across the blue line before Healy played the puck to Cross down low on the far right post for the redirect.

In between the pipes, Walker (0-0-1) made 33 saves for Amherst in a strong performance, while Carly Demora (0-0-1) racked up 16 stops in the draw for Connecticut College. 

The Camels held the advantage in shot attempts, 35-18, while neither side was able to convert on three power play chances.