Women’s Hockey Sets up Semifinal Showdown against Bowdoin
Issue   |   Tue, 02/26/2013 - 21:16
Nialah Hope ’15, Public Affairs Office
The Lady Jeffs topped Hamilton 5-1 in the NESCAC quarters.

Megan Doyen ’13 and Courtney Baranek ’14 netted two goals apiece on Saturday night in Amherst’s 5-1 victory over sixth-seeded Hamilton College in the NESCAC quarterfinals. With the win, the third-seeded Jeffs advance to the semifinals where they will face off against second-seeded Bowdoin, who defeated Williams, 5-3, on Saturday. Amherst is seeking its fourth conference title and the team’s first since 2010.

Doyen opened the scoring for Amherst just four minutes into the first period after finishing off a scramble by the left post, with assists from Kaitlyn McInnis ’13 and Eileen Harris ’16. The Jeffs added another tally three and half minutes later on Baranek’s first goal of the night. The junior beat Continental goalie Becca Hazlet ’13 after another scramble in the middle to put Amherst ahead, 2-1. Sophomores Madeline Tank and Tori Salmon were credited with the assists, giving Salmon the conference lead in helpers with 18.

Amherst held an 8-2 shot advantage in the opening frame, but Hamilton had a slight edge in the second, outshooting the Jeffs 10-9. Lloyd scored the lone goal of the second period at the nine-minute mark after Amherst came up empty on its first power play. The senior captain gathered a loose puck near the Hamilton blue line and took it through the Continental defense to the slot, where she fired a shot past Hazlet for her 13th goal of the year. Lloyd leads all NESCAC defenders with 27 points this season.

The Continentals generated some of their best chances in the second period, but Kerri Stuart ’14 made nine saves as the Jeffs killed Hamilton’s first power play attempt in the final minutes to keep them off the board.

The visitors cut their deficit to two just over seven minutes into the third period after coming up short on another man-advantage in the first few minutes of the frame. Senior Katie Zimmerman collected a loose puck at the top of the left face-off circle, skated to the slot and beat Stuart in the lower left corner to make it a 3-1 game.

Doyen added an insurance goal with 3:08 remaining in the game, tallying her second of the night from close range on a pass from McInnis in the left corner. Hamilton saw their final opportunity on a power play with a minute and a half left in the frame, pulling Hazlett with 72 seconds remaining for an extra skater. Baranek rounded out the scoring for the Jeffs on a short-handed, empty-netter with 59 seconds left to solidify the Amherst victory.

The Jeffs finished with a 26-19 shot advantage, with both teams going 0-for-3 on the power play. Stuart made 18 saves in net while Hazlett came up with 21 saves for Hamilton, who finished their season at 13-11-1, tied for the most wins in a season in program history.

Top-seeded Middlebury will host the NESCAC tournament this weekend after downing eighth-seeded Colby, 6-1, in the quarterfinals. The Panthers will match-up against fifth-seeded Connecticut College, who upset fourth-seeded Trinity with a close 1-0 victory.

Amherst will be eager for revenge against Bowdoin this weekend, who swept the teams’ regular season doubleheader two weeks ago. The Jeffs are looking to make their seventh consecutive trip to the NESCAC Championship game. Start time is set for 4 p.m. on Saturday at Kenyon Arena in Middlebury, Vt., with winners moving onto the title game at 2 p.m. on Sunday.