Women's Ice Hockey Sweeps Two-Game Series Against Conn.
Issue   |   Wed, 12/02/2015 - 00:40
Rob Mattson
Alex Toupal '18 contributed her first goal of the season in Amherst's game two victory of their sweep of Connecticut College this weekend.

The Amherst College women’s ice hockey team kicked off the 2015-16 season with a two-game sweep over Connecticut College in its season opening weekend. The purple and white defeated the Camels 1-0 on Friday, Nov. 20, and then secured the series with a 4-1 win on Saturday, Nov. 21.

Captain Erin Martin ’16, as well as assistant captains Eileen Harris ’16 and Caroline Bomstein ’16, led Amherst to their victories. Impactful junior and sophomore classes are back, and a strong first-year group will help in the hunt for a NESCAC title.

Sophomore goalkeeper Sabrina Dobbins was named the NESCAC player of the week for women’s ice hockey after stellar performances over opening weekend. Dobbins recorded 19 saves in a shutout victory in game one and made 24 saves in the second game of the weekend. She finished the week with a .977 save percentage.

Dobbins’ shutout game was sealed as a victory thanks to a goal from first-year Jocelyn Hunyadi. Amherst outshot the Camels 10-7 in the first 20 minutes of play. The final shot of the period was the one that counted. Hunyadi found the back of the net with just three seconds to play in the first stanza.

Brenna Sullivan ’18 and Bomstein assisted on the goal that gave the visiting purple and white a 1-0 lead.

In the second period, Conn. College was given a handful of opportunities to tie up the game. Three player-up situations were awarded to the Camels after Amherst fouls, but the purple and white killed each of the penalties successfully. Dobbins kept eight shots at bay in the second period as well.

Both the purple and white and the Camels had two extra skater opportunities in the third period. Again, neither team was able to convert on the plays. The game ended as a win for the visitors, starting their season on a high note.

Amherst returned to square off the following day for game two of the series. A strong third period carried Amherst to a decisive victory over the Camels. The visitors put two goals on the board in the final 20 minutes in the 4-1 win.

The purple and white outshot the Camels in the first period, 11-9. Lynndy Smith ’17 notched the first goal on a pass from Sara Culhane ’17 about eight minutes into play. The goal gave a 1-0 the lead to the visitors.

In the second period, the purple and white made good on the power play. When Conn. College’s Cassie Hunter and Kate Kohl both committed hooking penalties, Amherst saw a chance to extend their lead with a 5-on-3 power play. Martin, assisted by Smith and Caitlyn Ryan ’17, put the puck in the back of the net at the 14:29 mark. The goal gave Amherst a two-goal lead.

However, the Camels responded to the Amherst power play goal with one of its own. After Miriam Eickhoff ’19 went to the box for roughing, Alex Toupal ’18 followed for tripping during the ensuing penalty kill.

With just three minutes to play in the second period, Conn. College seized the 5-on-3 opportunity and brought the game within one goal.

While the close of the second period equalized the shots on goal at 22 apiece, Amherst came out firing in the third stanza. The visitors outshot the Camels, 20-3, in the final 20 minutes of play.

Sophomore Emma Griese added the third goal of the game for Amherst at the 15:49 mark. She received a pass from Culhane before she found the back of the net and extended the lead to two goals.

In an attempt to score, the Camels pulled their goalie at the end of the game.

This worked in favor of Amherst, however, when Toupal scored on an empty net with under a minute in regulation. Jamie McNamara ’19 and Ryan assisted the final purple and white score.

With the wins, Amherst begins its season with a 2-0-0 run. The purple and white return to play as they travel to Trinity for two games, one on Friday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and the second on Saturday, Dec. 5 with puck drop set for 4 p.m.