Top-Ranked Amherst Falls 5-1 at No. 3 R.I.T.

Stephanie Clegg scored Amherst's only goal in a 5-1 loss at R.I.T.

From an R.I.T. release

ROCHESTER, NY – The top-ranked Amherst College women’s ice hockey team suffered a 5-1 defeat at the hands of # 3 Rochester Institute of Technology for the second time in as many days this afternoon. RIT’s Erin Zach and Kolbee McCrea scored a pair of goals apiece, as the Tigers (10-0-0) picked up their 10th consecutive win to start the season, completing a weekend sweep of  Amherst (2-2-0).

Kourtney Kunichika  and Ariane Yokoyama dished out three assists apiece, while Sarah Dagg tallied two helpers. Katie Stack also scored for the Tigers, who could earn their first No. 1 national ranking in program history when the new poll is unveiled on Monday.

RIT rookie goaltender Laura Chamberlain, who stole the show with a 40-save shutout in Saturday’s win, continued her strong play with 28 saves. She is now 8-0-0 with a 0.63 goals against average and .969 save percentage. She is a big reason why the Tigers have allowed just eight goals in 10 games.

Amherst out-shot RIT, 29-23. Sinead Murphy (Rochester, MN) took the loss for Amherst, stopping nine shots before being pulled after RIT’s third goal. Caroline Hu (Cerritos, CA) played the final 32:26, also making nine saves.

Stephanie Clegg (Woburn, MA) scored Amherst’s lone goal of the weekend, 35 seconds into the third period on a power-play, redirecting a point shot from Randi Zukas (Glen Head, NY) past a screened Chamberlain. The Lord Jeffs were 1-for-6 with the man-advantage, while RIT finished 1-for-3.

RIT got on the board just 2:32 into the game, as McCrea tapped in a pass from Dagg past Murphy from in tight after a shot from Traci Galbraith was stopped in front.

RIT nearly had a golden chance to make it 2-0 later in the period, as Stack took a lead pass from Tenecia Hiller and made a tremendous move around the defenseman to go in on a breakaway. Stack tried to go high on Murphy, but the Amherst goaltender was up to the task and kept the score 1-0.

Amherst had a couple good chances on the power-play late in the period. Chamberlain’s best save came on a tip attempt Ellen Swiontkowski (Minnetonka, MN) that was earmarked for the top corner, but the RIT goaltender got the knob of her stick on the puck to make the save.RIT scored twice more in the second period to take a three-goal lead into the locker room after 40 minutes of play. Zach scored her first of two goals at 3:58 of the second period, taking a feed from Kunichika in tight and slipping a shot past Murphy from in tight for her eighth goal of the season.

Just over three minutes later, McCrea took a perfect feed from Kim Schlattman on a 2-on-1 and redirected a shot over the shoulder of Murphy to make it 3-0 RIT. McCrea now has seven goals in nine games.

RIT responded quickly after Amherst cut the lead to 3-1, as Zach scored a power-play goal at the 3:51 mark of the final period, completing a perfect, back-and-forth passing play. Yokoyama fired a hard diagonal pass from the right point to Kunichika at the left face-off circle. Kunichika then fired a cross-ice feed to Zach was alone at the side of the Amherst net. Zach made no mistake, putting the puck into the open net for her ninth goal of the year.

Stack completed the scoring with her eighth goal of the season with 7:31 left, just after an Amherst power-play ended. Yokoyama sent a pass around the boards on the right side to Kunichika behind the net. Kunichika wheeled and found Stack by herself in the slot. Stack one-timed the feed past Hu.

RIT is now 9-2-1 all-time against Amherst. Yesterday, Chamberlain stopped all 40 shots she faced to lead RIT to a 2-0 win over the Lord Jeffs. Zach tallied a goal and an assist, while Stack scored RIT’s other goal.

Amherst will return to action next weekend for a pair of road games at Trinity College in NESCAC regular-season action. The series opens Friday night at 7 p.m., and concludes Saturday at 3 p.m.