Women’s Hockey Splits Weekend
Issue   |   Wed, 02/04/2015 - 00:41

The Amherst women’s hockey team worked as a team on and off the ice this weekend during its doubleheader against Connecticut College. Coming into the weekend, the Jeffs stood at the top of the NESCAC standings with a 5-0-2 conference record, while the Camels ranked third in the NESCAC with a record of 5-3-2. The Jeffs skated to a 3-1 victory over the Camels on Saturday, while taking their first NESCAC loss of the season on Sunday 3-0. Sunday also marked the Jeffs’ annual Pink in the Rink event, which helped raise funds for the breast cancer awareness. Camille Herzog ’17 said the event has “grown and developed every year to better serve the Cancer Connection in Northampton.”

In Saturday’s victory, first-year standout Brenna Sullivan delivered two of Amherst’s three goals. Sullivan opened up the scoring for Amherst during the first period off of passes from Lynndy Smith ’17 and Emily Flom ’15. Conn. College’s goalie Kelsie Fralick had a stellar second period, as Amherst held the shot advantage 19-5. Fralick’s efforts in goal kept the Jeffs at bay throughout the second period. Connecticut College scored at the 8:26 mark in the second period to tie the score.

Feeling the pressure in the third, Sullivan stepped up again scoring in the last three minutes of the period off a breakaway. Hoping to tie the score, Fralick was pulled in the remaining seconds of the game. Alex Toupal ’18 scored on the empty net to make the final score, 3-1. Herzog commended her team’s “determination to stick it out until the end.”

With lots of opportunities on both sides, the goalies really played a huge factor in the outcome. First-year goalie Sabrina Dobbins made 30 saves for Amherst, while Fralick ended up with 35.

The two teams returned to the ice on Sunday decked out in pink for the Pink in the Rink Fundraiser. The Jeffs dawned their special pink lined jerseys, pink socks and even pink tape on their sticks. The Camels showed their support by taping up their sticks in pink as well. The Jeffs organized a full event for spectators, including a raffle drawing, a “chuck the duck” game and bake sale. The Conn. College team also donated to the raffle to show their support for the cause. All proceeds from the game went to Cancer Connections, a local organization in Northampton that helps women in the Pioneer Valley area suffering from breast cancer. Cancer Connections appealed to the team because of its ties to the greater Amherst community. The organization offers a place for those who are suffering from breast cancer and those who care for them to cope with the disease.

Herzog said the event helped her team realize “there are bigger more important things in the world than just success in sports” and further “to support, Hugh, our amazing announcer, and his wife in their journey battling cancer.”

While successful in creating an awesome event, the Jeffs did not have as much luck on the ice in their second matchup against the Camels. Conn. College scored midway through the first period off a deflection from a Dobbins’ save.

Behind 1-0 moving into the second period, the Jeffs had many great opportunities to even the score. With a two-player advantage power play, the Jeffs moved the puck around the Camels goal with ease, firing shots, but were unable to capitalize. With five minutes left in the period, Cassie Hunter of Conn. College stole a Jeffs’ clearance in their defensive zone. Hunter was able to sneak the puck pass, Dobbins pushing the Camel lead to two goals. In the third, the Jeffs pressured again but were unable to find an opening. The Camels scored on an empty net in the last minute of the game to make the score 3-0.

One highlight of Amherst’s effort on Sunday was their impressive advantage in shots, 54-24. “We had a lot of amazing chances on Sunday, but the puck just never seemed to bounce our way,” Herzog noted.

A major reason was the impressive performance by Fralick who had 54 saves. Dobbins recorded her first loss of the season in goal with 21 saves on the day.

The loss dropped the Jeffs to No. 2 in the NESCAC behind Middlebury. The team will return to Orr Rink for another double-header this upcoming weekend. They will face Williams on Friday night at 7 p.m. and again on Saturday at 3 p.m.