Jeffs Wrap up NESCAC Slate with 7-3 Win Over Williams

Randi Zukas '11 had three assists on Senior Day.

AMHERST, MA – The seventh-ranked Amherst College women’s ice hockey team used a pair of power-play goals midway through the third period to pull away from Williams College en route to a 7-3 win Saturday afternoon at Orr Rink. The Lord Jeffs improve to 15-5-2 (13-2-1 NESCAC) and have now won 10 straight against the Ephs, who drop to 4-13-1 (3-10-1).

With its conference slate wrapped up, Amherst can finish no worse than second in the NESCAC standings. Williams dropped to eighth in the standings but still clinched a playoff spot thanks to Wesleyan’s 5-1 loss to Colby today. The Jeffs and Ephs will return to action Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m., with Amherst hosting New England College and Williams hosting UMass Boston.

Amherst took a 1-0 lead 13:19 into the contest when Geneva Lloyd ’13 (Calgary, Alberta) rattled the post and beat Williams goalie Rachel Nguyen, but the Ephs needed only 31 seconds to find the equalizer. When the puck bounced out to the point, Kristen Tubbs was there to flip a backhanded shot past Amherst’s Caroline Hu ’11 (Cerritos, CA) for an unassisted goal that made it a 1-1 game.

The next three goals would come from Amherst, starting when Ashley Salerno ’14 (Brunswick, ME) brought the score to 2-1 with only 58.3 seconds remaining in the opening period. The Jeffs were awarded a 5-on-3 situation four minutes into the second frame and would capitalize on the power play when Courtney Hanlon ’11 (Fullerton, CA) deflected a shot from Lloyd. Hanlon then made it 4-1 three minutes later, with the assist going to Megan Curry ’11 (Shorewood, MN) with 11:43 to go in the second.

The Ephs would not go quietly, however, scoring two goals in a span of less than two minutes to cut their deficit to one before the second intermission. After Cristina Bravi ’14 made it a 4-2 game with 7:51 on the clock, Nicolle Perry closed out the second-period scoring with only 5:54 to go.

The Jeffs gained some breathing room midway through the third period when they were awarded another 27 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey, immediately capitalizing with a pair of power-play goals. Amherst’s fifth score was put in by Lloyd thanks to assists from Randi Zukas ’11 (Glen Head, NY) and Stephanie Clegg ’12 (Woburn, MA), and Clegg quickly gave the hosts a 6-3 edge with 9:17 on the clock.

The final goal came with only 1:26 left in regulation when Braidie Campbell ’11 (Surrey, BC) brought the score to 7-3 to close the books on Amherst’s 15th win of the season. Lloyd finished with two goals and two assists, Hanlon scored two goals, and Zukas dished out three assists to lead the hosts.

The Jeffs held a 47-17 edge in shots, as Hu earned the win with 14 saves to improve to 9-4-1. Nguyen stopped 40 shots for the Ephs but fell to 2-9-1.

Prior to Saturday’s game Amherst honored its eight seniors, who have compiled a record of 82-16-10 (53-3-8 NESCAC) in their four years. Comprising the Class of 2011 are Hanlon, Curry, Zukas, Campbell, Hu, Julia Koch ’11 (Rochester Hills, MI), Brittney Evans ’11 (Edina, MN) and Cianna Wyshnytzky ’11.