Jeffs Cruise Past Colby, 3-1, for Sixth Straight Win
Ellen Swiontkowski '12 had a goal and an assist.
By Dan Pozner ’11
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s ice hockey team earned a 3-1 victory over Colby College Saturday afternoon at Orr Rink to mark its sixth consecutive win of the season. Amherst improves its record to a NESCAC-best 10-1-1 (12-4-2 overall), while Colby falls to 3-9-0 in the league and 7-12-0 overall.
Strong defensive play and another big game for junior Ellen Swiontkowski (Minnetonka, MN) proved to be the difference for Amherst in the second leg of this weekend’s two-game series. The Lord Jeffs will continue a key stretch of NESCAC games next weekend when they travel to Maine for a two-game series against Bowdoin.
The Amherst defense was dominant in the first period, limiting Colby to just three shots on net. First-year goaltender Kerri Stuart (Tewksbury, MA) made key saves early on and looked strong all afternoon. Setting a tone early with tough defense has been a theme all season for the Jeffs, who have allowed only four first-period goals on the year. Today’s first-period shutout was Amherst's seventh in a row.
Amherst struck first six minutes into the opening period when first-year Courtney Baranek (West Babylon, NY) snapped a shot inside the left post, giving the Jeffs an early 1-0 lead. The goal was the first of Baranek’s collegiate career.
The second period began with a fury of Amherst shots and offensive pressure, causing Colby to draw an early penalty. On the ensuing power play, Swiontkowski handcuffed Colby goaltender Brianne Wheeler with a slap shot from the top of the zone. The rebound deflected straight out to an awaiting Stephanie Clegg (Woburn, MA), who lifted a wrister over Wheeler’s shoulder to extend the Amherst lead to 2-0 2:29 into the period.
Amherst struck again two minutes later when Swiontkowski used her body to redirect a slap shot from senior teammate Randi Zukas (Glen Head, NY). The puck appeared to deflect off Swiontkowski’s hip and went through the legs of the Colby goalie, giving Amherst a 3-0 advantage.
For the second time in as many days Colby refused to go down without a fight. The Mules cut the deficit to 3-1 with eight minutes left in the final period when first-year Samantha Slotnick gathered a rebound in front of the Amherst goal and lifted the puck over Stuart’s outstretched leg and into the back of the net.
The pressure increased late in the third when Colby pulled its goalie for an extra skater, but Stuart turned a last-second shot wide to secure the 3-1 victory. Stuart (2-0) finished the day with 16 saves for the Jeffs, while Wheeler (6-10) denied an impressive 41 shots.