Women’s Ice Hockey Defeats Trinity, Advances to NESCAC Semifinals
Issue   |   Tue, 02/28/2017 - 20:43
Clarus Studios
Junior standout Alex Toupal notched the only two goals of the game, pushing her NESCAC-leading tally to 19, five more than her closest rival.

The Amherst women’s ice hockey team produced a big win on Saturday, Feb. 25, to advance to the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament.

The purple and white shut out Trinity 2-0 and improved their overall record to 13-7-5 on the year.

Junior goalie Sabrina Dobbins recorded her first NESCAC shutout, while classmate Alex Toupal had her fourth multi-goal game of the season.

Trinity’s first attempt to get on the scoreboard came four minutes in, when Kelcie Finn pounced on a loose net behind the Amherst net and put a wrap around shot on goal. However, Dobbins made the save.

Sarah Wagner ’19 and Sara Culhane ’17 combined for the first quality Amherst chance with 13 minutes left in the first period. Wagner’s shot on net was saved by Bantam goalie Sydney Belinskas.

Culhane then attempted to tap the rebound home, but Belinskas came up big with another stop.

The purple and white broke the deadlock when, ten minutes into the second period, Toupal, the NESCAC’s leading scorer, picked off a pass on the purple and white’s side of the ice, skated into a one-on-one and fired a shot into the bottom corner of the goal, giving Amherst a 1-0 lead.

Shots went back and forth through the remainder of the second and majority of the third period, with neither team able to light the lamp.

After the Bantams pulled Belinskas in a last-ditch effort to stave off post-season elimination, Toupal notched an empty net goal with 39 seconds left in the game to secure the Amherst win.

Off an assist from sophomore Katie Savage, Toupal found the back of the net from just outside the blue line.

When the final buzzer sounded less than a minute later, the purple and white skated off the ice with a 2-0 victory.

Next Saturday, Mar. 4, at 4 p.m., Amherst will face off against Connecticut College in semifinal action at Middlebury.

If the purple and white prevail against the Camels, they will take on the winner of the other semifinal between Bowdoin and top-seeded Middlebury at 2 p.m on Sunday, Mar. 1.