Jeffs Shut Out Cortland, 4-0
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. - A pair of early goals coupled with a strong defensive effort helped lift the 10th-ranked Amherst women’s hockey team to a 4-0 victory over SUNY Cortland at Orr Rink.
Playing the Red Dragons for the first time since 2007, the Jeffs improved to 6-2-2 on the season, while Cortland fell to 2-7-2. Amherst also took the last meeting between the squads by a score of 8-1.
Wasting little time getting on the board, the Purple & White netted the game’s first tally less than five minutes after the opening face-off. Creating a turnover in the neutral zone, Tori Salmon ’15 found the stick of a charging Erin Martin ’16, who wristed a shot past the glove of Cortland goaltender Kelly Farinella ’17.
With less than 10 minutes remaining in the first period, the Jeffs added to their lead. Gaining possession at the Amherst blue line, Eileen Harris ’16 rushed up ice on a breakaway chance. Once again challenging Farinella’s glove side, Harris lifted a hard shot into the upper right corner of the net to double the margin.
Outshooting Cortland 12-2 over the first 20 minutes, Amherst continued to apply pressure during the middle frame, finishing with an 11-0 edge in shots-on-goal. Still up 2-0 early in the third period, Sara Culhane ’17 extended the Jeff cushion. Eluding a defender, Lynndy Smith ’17 threw the puck on net from the high slot while falling to the ice. Redirecting it in front, Culhane beat Farinella at 4:54 to notch her second goal of the season.
Midway through the third, Cortland generated its best scoring opportunity. Splitting a pair of defenders, Niamh O’Connor ’16 skated up ice on a breakaway. With the forward closing in on the Amherst net, Martin and Hayley Opperman ’14 closed the gap, poking the puck away from behind at the last second to prevent the sophomore from putting a clean shot on target.
With 3:32 on the clock, Culhane closed out the scoring. Collecting the puck in the left circle, the first-year forward ripped a wrist shot over Farinella’s shoulder to up the Jeff lead to 4-0.
The Jeffs finished with a decisive 39-7 shot advantage, while going 0-for-3 on the power play. Yuna Evans ’17 made seven saves in her first career victory, while Farinella had 35 stops.
Amherst returns to action on Friday, Jan. 10 against Colby.