Women's Hockey Advances to NESCAC Championship Game, Falls to Middlebury
Issue   |   Wed, 03/09/2016 - 00:07
Amherst Athletics
Captain Erin Martin '16 led all skaters with five shots on goal last Saturday.

The Amherst women’s ice hockey team fell in an overtime loss to Middlebury on Sunday in the NESCAC championship game. The purple and white defeated Connecticut College, 3-0, last Saturday in the semifinal game before advancing to the final matchup of their NESCAC championship run.

Amherst used a strong second period to advance past the Camels in the semifinal matchup. Conn. College came out strong to start, directing a series of shots at the Amherst goal, but sophomore goaltender Sabrina Dobbins was able to protect the net. At the 6:40 mark, Lynndy Smith ’17 received a pass from Caitlyn Ryan ’17 at the top of the offensive zone that she shot through the legs of the Camels’ goalie. Just three minutes later, Alex Toupal ’18 collected the puck and sent it into the back of the net. Amherst held the advantage at the end of the second stanza, 2-0.

Amherst held off the Camels for a third period of play. Dobbins collected eight saves to keep the Connecticut team at bay. With only 1:41 to play in regulation, Toupal added a third goal for the purple and white to secure the win.

On Sunday, the purple and white played in its first NESCAC final since the 2011-2012 season. Before the final, Amherst played the Panthers to two ties in the regular season, and the evenly matched sides seemed poised for an exciting contest.
Middlebury came out firing to start the game, tallying three goals within the first 14 minutes of play. The Panthers scored the first goal after just 38 seconds of regulation and then added another two more before the purple and white got on the board.
Sarah Culhane ’17 notched the first goal for the purple and white with 3:02 to play in the first stanza. Her goal cut the Amherst deficit to two before the end of the period.

It was Amherst that came out hard in the second period. Caroline Bomstein ’16 added a second goal for the visitors just over six minutes into the second period. First-year Katelyn Pantera sent Bomstein a pass at the blue line that the assistant captain collected and fired into the net. Two minutes later, Pantera collected a pass from classmate Katie Savage that she put beyond the Panthers’ netminder. The score was even at 3-3.

With 7:01 remaining in the second period, Amherst took the lead. Culhane added another goal for the purple and white that gave the visitors the 4-3 lead.

Minutes later, Middlebury tied things up again. The score remained tied into the third through the end of regulation. The game went into overtime. Middlebury added its fifth goal just under seven minutes into the extra period, and were crowned 2016 NESCAC champions.

Amherst received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The purple and white will travel to Plattsburgh, New York, to face SUNY Plattsburgh on Saturday, March 12, at 3 p.m.