Women's Hockey 3-1 After Loss to Elmira
Issue   |   Wed, 11/30/2011 - 01:19
Rob Mattson
Goaltender Kerri Stuart '14 made 22 stops against Elmira

Women’s ice hockey holds a 3-1 record (2-0 NESCAC) after the first four games of their season. “I think we all feel good about how we played this past weekend,” tri-captain Geneva Lloyd ’13 said. “More importantly, we feel good about how much we’ve improved just in the last two weeks.”

In their season opener against Hamilton on Nov. 18, the Jeffs defeated the Continentals 5-1. For Amherst, Erin Babineau ’12, Melissa Martin ’15 and Josie Fisher ’12 contributed goals, while Lloyd scored twice. Fisher, Barrett McBride ’14, Tori Salmon ’15 and Stephanie Clegg ’12 each had an assist, and Emily Vitale ’12 rounded out the offense with two.

Hamilton’s Jill Tokarczyk capitalized on an Amherst five-minute penalty late in the third period, but the lone goal was not enough for the Continentals. Jeff goalkeeper Sinead Murphy ’12 contributed 15 saves on the day.

Amherst took the momentum from Friday’s win back home with them to sweep Hamilton at Orr Rink on Saturday, taking the game 4-1. Notably, Ellen Swiontkowski ’12, Salmon, Martin and Fisher each registered a goal for the Jeffs. Kaitlyn McInnis ’13, Ashley Salerno ’14, Fisher and Lloyd each had an assist. Sophomore Kerri Stuart served Amherst between the pipes and made 12 saves. Head coach Jim Plumer said of the total team effort that, “It makes us hard to play against because we can be pretty balanced.”

The Jeffs then traveled to Plattsburgh, N.Y. to compete in the Cardinal-Panther Classic the next weekend. They beat Plattsburgh 3-2, and dropped Elmira 3-1.

Against Plattsburgh, Swiontkowski scored the team’s first goal early in the second period and helped assist the eventual game-winner early in the third. McBride tallied the team’s second point at 17:42 in the second period, assisted by Anne Gillard ’15 and Lloyd. Martin scored the final goal, assisted by Fisher and Swiontkowski.

While Plattsburgh went on the offensive in the third period, outshooting Amherst 12-4 and scoring twice, Murphy’s big performance in net with 29 saves held the Cardinals at just two goals. “Both goalies had two very good games,” Plumer said. “Sinead, especially against Plattsburgh, stood tall.”

Amherst finished their weekend by suffering a 3-1 loss to Elmira. While Amherst struck first when Lloyd took advantage of power play, assisted by Salerno and Swiontkowski, Elmira answered quickly and then pushed on for a 3-1 victory.

“We had momentum in the last 10 minutes of the game: Elmira couldn’t break the puck out of their zone,” Clegg said. “If we bring our third-period mentality and intensity at the start of the game, we’ll be able to dominate any team.” Stuart had an impressive showing with 22 stops. “Almost all of our nonconference games are against really good teams,” Plumer noted. In playing Plattsburgh and Elmira, the team faced the fourth- and eighth-ranked teams in the country, respectively. The Jeffs use nonconference play to challenge themselves and improve through the season.

Plumer also brought up the team’s focus on improving their power play conversions. Amherst converted only three of their 19 power plays into goals in their past four games. He noted that “both of [the team’s] primary power play units are working in new players,” and that they will work in practice to improve these units’ effectiveness.

Amherst looks ahead to a weekend at Wesleyan. “The nice thing about playing a team twice in one weekend is that we can really focus on one team during practice that week,” Vitale said. “The best way to prepare for any NESCAC opponent is to focus on ourselves and try to learn and improve from the week before.”

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