Women’s Hockey Ices Ephs in 6-2 Victory
Issue   |   Wed, 02/12/2014 - 00:20
Chloe McKenzie '14
Defender Melissa Martin ’15 has one goal and one assist on the season.

This past weekend the 10th-ranked Amherst women’s hockey team took on NESCAC archrival Williams College in a two game series.

The Jeffs came away with a 6-2 win on Friday and a 2-2 tie on Saturday that leaves them with an 11-5-4 record overall and a 7-2-3 record in the NESCAC. They are now seated third in the conference, just behind Middlebury and Williams.

“We had a good weekend. Williams is a very strong team, and to come away with three out of four points on the road is a good weekend,” Coach Matthews said.

On Friday, the Ephs held the Jeffs to a close game until the third period when Amherst erupted with three goals to secure the win. Courtney Baraneck ’14 opened up the scoring in the first period off a Lynndy Smith ’17 rebound.

Williams evened the game with a goal early on in the second period, but Erin Martin ’16 was quick to retaliate, beating the Williams goaltender to the blocker side on an unassisted tally. Sara Culhane ’17 extended the lead for the Jeffs off a pass from Barrett McBride ’14.

Although Williams reduced the differential by putting away a goal at the end of the second period, Amherst wasted no time pulling away again after capitalizing on several power play opportunities. Baraneck set up Smith for the fourth goal, and in return, Smith gave Emily Flom ’15 the puck for the fifth goal.

The final tally came when Camille Herzog ’17 took a shot from the blue line that was redirected by Culhane for the rookie’s second goal of the game. Kerri Stuart ’14 helped secure the win for the Jeffs by recording 29 stops in net.

“Friday was a huge win for us. We came out really fired up and put the game away early. A lot of different players contributed to the win, which made it that much better. Kerri made some big saves to help us out too,” said sophomore forward Eileen Harris.

The rematch between the rivals on Saturday ended in a 2-2 overtime tie. Williams got on the board at the end of the first period and the score remained that way until the third period with 3:37 to go when Anne Gillard ’15 scored off a Caitlyn Ryan ’17 assist.

Ryan has had a very successful first-year campaign for the Jeffs thus far. Playing along side captain Hayley Opperman ’14 at starting defense, Ryan has contributed greatly to the stellar defensive performance of the team this season. She has also aided the offensive effort with many heads up plays leading to assists such as this one. She was recently interviewed by The Boston Globe due to her success.

The 1-1 score didn’t last long. The Ephs were quick to respond to Amherst’s equalizer. A little over a minute later, a slap shot from the blue line beat Amherst net-protector Yuna Evans ’17. Evans was then pulled with a minute to go, when Harris tied the game up 2-2 with just four seconds remaining.

Neither team could score in overtime and the game concluded in a tie. Evans made 28 saves in the game.

“Although a tie wasn’t what we wanted, we made some big plays as a team. Coming back to tie twice late in the game really showed how we can play. Overall, it was a good weekend and we’re really excited for next weekend at home,” Harris said.

The Jeffs return to action at Orr Rink this Friday at 7 p.m. to take on Trinity for their annual Pink in the Rink Fundraiser game. A raffle, bake sale and “chuck a duck” events will all take place to help raise money for the Cancer-Connection in Northampton that provides free services for breast cancer and other female-specific cancers. This fundraiser has the ability to positively impact the Amherst College community as well as nearby communities in Western Mass.

On Saturday, Feb. 8 at 3 p.m., the team will conclude its final home series of the regular season with a senior day celebration.

After, the Jeffs have only an away series at Bowdoin before they prepare for the NESCAC Championships, starting March 1.

“We are still learning and trying to get better with each game, especially due to the fact we are a younger team and many of our players are going through these situations for the first time,” said Coach Matthews.

“We need to take care of ourselves, stay healthy and work hard in practice to continue to develop our habits and skills. No changes, we are just hoping to be a better team come this weekend than we were last weekend,” he added.

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