Jeffs Drop 3-1 Result to RIT at Home

Junior Tarasai Karega scored Amherst's lone goal against RIT.

AMHERST, MA – The fourth-ranked Amherst College women’s ice hockey team hosted fifth-ranked Rochester Institute of Technology this afternoon in non-conference action at Orr Rink. After a disappointing loss to unranked Utica College yesterday, the Lord Jeffs looked to rebound against the Tigers. The Jeffs fought back from a 2-0 hole, but ultimately lost the game 3-1.

Rochester got on the board on an early power play goal just 2:34 into the first period. With Amherst junior co-captain Julie Radziewicz (Orlando, FL) in the penalty box, RIT’s Keltie Jones scored a scrappy goal, poking home a rebound from inside the Amherst crease.

Just 81 seconds later, Amherst goaltender Krystyn Elek (Summerville, SC) was whistled for another penalty, giving the Tigers another early power play. The Jeffs nearly found the equalizer on a short-handed opportunity when junior Tarasai Karega (Detroit, MI) and first-year Courtney Hanlon (Fullerton, CA) had a two-on-one break. Hanlon’s back-handed shot was deflected over the crossbar by RIT’s goaltender.

With 13:11 remaining in the first period, Amherst was rewarded with a power play on a hooking penalty against RIT. With forty seconds remaining on the situation, the Tigers were called for a second penalty, giving Amherst a 5-on-3 opportunity. The Lord Jeffs had a number of shots on goal during the power play, but came up empty-handed.

Amherst had another power play in the final minutes of the first period, but was once again unable to sneak the puck by RIT goaltender Sandra Grant. At the end of the first period, the Lord Jeffs held a 12-10 advantage on shots on goal, but the Tigers had the lone score of the frame.

At the midway point of the second period, Amherst and RIT had essentially split the time of possession, with the Lord Jeffs creating a handful of scoring chances. Amherst went on the power play one more time with just over four minutes remaining in the middle frame.

Unfortunately for Lord Jeff fans, the best chance of the power play seemingly came from RIT on a shorthanded break down the right wing. Just seconds later, Amherst responded with a nice feed to a streaking Anna MacLean (Edina, MN) on the crease. Grant was up to the task though, and gobbled up the shot.

With just 15 seconds remaining on the power play, the Tigers were whistled for another penalty, which would allow Amherst to all but finish the period on a power play. Adding insult to injury, RIT was called for a third straight penalty, giving Amherst 1:12 of 5-on-3 action. For the Lord Jeffs to get back into the game, they would surely need to take advantage of the situation, as head coach Jim Plumer called a timeout to fire up his squad.

The Tigers killed off the initial power play to finish the second period, but Amherst would have 24 seconds at the start of the third on the 5-on-4 advantage. The Jeffs failed to score in that time, and were left looking for an even strength goal to tie things up.

RIT broke the game wide open with 16:22 to play in the third period when Amanda Klassen slapped home a loose puck from the slot. Maegen Geypens and Isabelle Richard picked up the helpers on the score.

In a flurry of penalty action, RIT ended up with a 4-on-3 power play despite Amherst having three players in the box. The Lord Jeffs killed off nearly four minutes of penalties in a row, with Elek making a number of crucial saves.

The Jeffs cut the deficit in half with 4:19 showing on the clock on a beautiful solo effort from Karega off a feed from Radziewicz. The team’s leading scorer beat a Tiger defender one-on-one and then slotted a hard shot under Grant.

Amherst had a great opportunity on a late power play, but RIT’s Melissa Hall stole the show with a highlight reel goal. After a slow pass in front of Elek on a short-handed break, Hall dove and flicked the puck top-shelve with her outstretched stick.

Time ticked away on Amherst’s second consecutive loss, as RIT took the game 3-1. Amherst falls to 5-3-2 on the year, and will return to action on Friday evening at Wesleyan for a 7 p.m. game.