Women's Ice Hockey Sweeps NESCAC Rivals Over Weekend
Issue   |   Wed, 02/17/2016 - 00:18
Mark Box
Sophomore forward Emma Griese scored the opening goal in Sunday's game against Hamilton. She now has five goals through 22 games played.

The Amherst women’s ice hockey team heads into its senior weekend with plenty of momentum after crushing Salem State 10-0 last week and then sweeping Hamilton in two big wins over the weekend.

Salem State didn’t stand a chance in Orr Rink on Wednesday, Feb. 9. The purple and white put three goals in the back of the net in the first period, taking the lead and running with it early on. The home team added a fourth goal in the second period, before notching six goals in the third period to close the game. The scoring was extremely balanced, with Erin Martin ’16 netting two and eight other players getting onto the scoresheet as well. In addition, sophomore Bailey Plaman recorded 14 saves in the shutout en route to her fourth win of the season.

Hamilton was a different sort of challenge, however, since any game in the NESCAC can be a toss up. Amherst rose to the challenge and defeated the Continentals in a 3-1 contest. Goalie Bailey Plaman ’18 notched 13 saves in the win.
Caitlin Ryan ’17 gave the purple and white the lead around the halfway point in the first period. The junior received a pass from Alex Toupal ’18 and sent a snap shot into the bottom right corner of the net to make the score 1-0.

With under three minutes to play in the first stanza, first-year Katelyn Pantera found a rebound from a shot by Sarah Culhane ’17 and placed the puck in the back of the goal to give Amherst the 2-0 edge. The goal was first-year Pantera’s fourth of the season. With these two goals in the latter half of the first period, the purple and white had all of the momentum heading into the second stanza.

Amherst had a beautiful senior-to-senior connection in the second period that gave the purple and white the 3-0 lead. Martin skated down the ice and delivered a behind the back pass to the stick of Eileen Harris ’16, who sent the puck over the shoulder of the Hamilton goalie. It was the sole goal of the period.

Hamilton managed to add a goal of its own in the third period, but Amherst came out with the Friday night win, 3-1.
Martin then tallied a hat trick in the 5-0 win over Hamilton on Saturday. The win improved Amherst’s record in the NESCAC to 10-1-2. Sabrina Dobbins ’18 collected 26 saves in her third shutout of the season, pushing her own record between the pipes to 13-1-3.

Early in the first period, first-year Jocelyn Hunyadi sent a pass to Emma Griese ’18 in the middle of the ice, which Griese knocked behind the Hamilton goaltender. Martin notched her first goal of the game 10 minutes later after she received a beautiful pass from first-year Miriam Eickoff after the first-year blue-liner kept the puck in Hamilton’s zone. Amherst led at the close of the first stanza, 2-0.

Just under three minutes into the second period, Martin added a third goal for Amherst, her second, off assists from Toupal and Lynndy Smith ’17. With just under three to play in the second, Martin put a fourth goal on the board for the purple and white. Camille Herzog ’17 delivered a pinpoint pass to Martin from the offensive blue line, which the senior captain effortlessly placed in the back of the net.

Dobbins made a huge save in the third period, keeping the Continentals scoreless. Her strong performance was a large reason why Amherst could comfortably overcome their formidable opponents. Toupal added a fifth and final goal for Amherst at the 8:07 mark to secure the win. With this victory the purple and white remain undefeated at home.

“It was great to have such an offensive weekend against Hamilton,” Martin said. “The big wins really set us apart in NESCAC play.”

This weekend, Amherst will have a split weekend against Little Three rival Wesleyan. The purple and white will travel to Connecticut for a 7 p.m. game on Friday, Feb. 19. They then will host the Cardinals for the Amherst senior game on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 5 p.m.

“It’s bittersweet going into this weekend,” Martin said. “It’s our 100th career game as seniors, and our senior weekend. We are excited to finish out the regular season, and we are looking forward to the postseason.”