Women’s Hockey Ends Regular Season with Win and Draw Against Wesleyan
Issue   |   Tue, 02/21/2017 - 20:49

The Amherst women’s ice hockey team played its final regular season series last weekend, Feb. 17-19, with two games against NESCAC rival Wesleyan. The team came away with a 1-1 overtime tie on Friday and a 4-2 victory on Sunday.

On Friday, the purple and white traveled to Middletown, Connecticut, to face off against the Cardinals.

The first period ended scoreless, though Caitlyn Ryan ’17 almost broke the game open 16 minutes into the first with a low wrist shot on goal. However, Cardinal goalie Allegra Grant made the save, keeping the game scoreless.

Amherst then took the lead 10 minutes into the second period, capitalizing on the power play when Jocelyn Hunyadi ’19 deflected a pass from Alex Toupal ’18 over the goal line.

The score remained 1-0 until the final minute of the period. Wesleyan took advantage of their own power play and found the top shelf off a quick snap shot. The third period went back and forth, but neither team was able to find the back of the net. Amherst outshot the Cardinals 6-3 in the overtime period, but neither team could score, and the game finished in a 1-1 draw.
Sunday marked Amherst’s senior day and the last regular season home game for the purple and white. The purple and white celebrated seven graduating seniors: Ali Ahn, Camille Herzog, Audrey Duquette, Molly Connolly and Sara Culhane, as well as captains Lynndy Smith and Caitlin Ryan.

During their career, these seniors compiled a record of 63-22-17, won three Little Three titles, qualified for three consecutive NESCAC Championship tournaments and earned one NCAA postseason bid.

“[It] was incredible; the team really put together a great atmosphere for our game,” Ryan said. “I think I can speak for all of the seniors when I say we really appreciated the support, not only from our team and families, but also from our Amherst peers.”

The energy from the Senior Day celebrations carried into the game, as Amherst captured a 1-0 lead in the first 28 seconds. Hunyadi one-timed a pass from Toupal into the net that was nearly identical to the pair’s goal on Friday.

With 1:22 left in the first period, Wesleyan evened the score at 1-1 with a shot to the top corner of the goal. However, the purple and white finished the period on top, leading 2-1, after a shot from Jamie McNamara ’19 found its way past Cardinal goalie Grant’s legs with 29 seconds on the clock.

Amherst widened their lead to 3-1 in the second period when Katelyn Pantera ’19 scored off of classmate Katie Savage’s pass. Savage then scored Amherst’s fourth and final goal off of Culhane’s rebound with three minutes left in the game.
Wesleyan maintained pressure until the final buzzer, finding the back of the net with 45 seconds remaining. The clock ran out with a 4-2 Amherst victory on the scoreboard. Purple and white goalie Bailey Plaman ’18 made 25 saves in her winning effort while Grant took the loss.

Amherst finished the regular season with a 12-7-5 record, going 6-5-5 in the NESCAC.

Next weekend, they will face Trinity on the road for their first NESCAC postseason matchup. The Bantams finished their conference season with an 8-6-2 record, and they are seeded one spot above the purple and white at fourth.

“I believe it will make us more prepared when it comes time for playoffs,” Ryan said about the women’s up-and-down season. “We’re very excited to take on Trinity this weekend, we’re looking to win it all.”