Jeffs Skate to 4-0 Win over Conn. College on Front End of Series

Amherst is one result away from an
undefeated NESCAC regular season.
AMHERST, MA – The fourth-ranked Amherst College women’s hockey team took to the ice of Orr Rink this evening for a Senior Day match-up with NESCAC rival Connecticut College. The Lord Jeffs looked impressive, scoring early and late en route to a 4-0 win.

Prior to dropping the puck this evening, Amherst honored the members of this year’s senior class. Tri-captain Megan Quinn (Wakefield, MA) was joined by classmates Katharine Kelly (Shorewood, WI), Natanya Khazzam (Montreal, Quebec), and Elizabeth Ditmore (Carmel, CA) as they took the ice for their final regular season collegiate home game.

The first period went end to end with Amherst controlling a majority of the possession. There were very few whistles in a clean, hard-fought period, but despite the up and down play, neither squad was able to mount a significant scoring chance. With four minutes to play in the frame, junior Tarasai Karega (Detroit, MI) broke down the right wing and fed sophomore Kate Dennett (Highlands Ranch, CO) on the doorstep. Dennett met the puck nicely, but pushed her shot wide.

Just over a minute later, Amherst broke the scoreless tie when junior Anna MacLean (Edina, MN) finished an odd-man rush with a picture perfect goal. Helpers on the game’s first score went to first-years Courtney Hanlon (Fullerton, CA) and Julia Koch (Rochester Hills, MI).

Amherst took the 1-0 lead to the locker room for the first intermission after a hard played stanza. Just minutes into the second period, Amherst doubled its advantage on a goal from first-year Britt Evans (Edina, MN). Evans poked home a loose puck in the crease on assists from classmates Megan Curry (Shorewood, MN) and Braidie Campbell (Surrey, BC).

Neither team found the net for the next fifteen minutes of game time, but Amherst was given a power play with just over two minutes to go in the middle period. The man-advantage chance was a great opportunity for Amherst to put the game out of reach before the second intermission. The Lord Jeffs were unable to put home a third score, and just escaped a last minute rush from the Camels in the final seconds of the period.

Amherst out shot Conn. College 15-1 in the second period, but held just a 20-11 edge overall after two periods. Four minutes into the third period, Amherst got on the board once again when sophomore Kristen Dier (Appleton, WI) got a lucky bounce as her shot flipped over Camel goaltender Lauren Mellen’s shoulder and in. First-year Randi Zukas (Glen Head, NY) and Ditmore assisted on the goal.

Midway through the third period, Amherst was tested when the Camels were awarded a 5-on-3 power play on consecutive penalties against the Jeffs. Amherst killed off the shorthanded session, and looked for an insurance score to end the night. Mellen played well during the remainder of the period despite letting in a fourth goal. The Camel stopper made three saves during a flurry of Jeff shots, but the fourth attempt found the net. Koch was credited with the score, while Curry and Quinn registered assists on saved shots.

The final minutes ticket away on another conference win for Amherst, as the Jeffs have just one remaining game to complete an undefeated NESCAC regular season. Amherst goaltender Krystyn Elek (Summerville, SC) finished the night with 23 saves for the shutout, while Mellen made 22 stops.

Amherst improves to 16-3-4 (11-0-4 NESCAC) with the win, while the Camels fall to 7-12-4 (5-7-3). In less than 24 hours, the two teams will meet again for the regular season finale on Conn. College’s campus in New London, CT.