Jeffs Drop Thriller to Middlebury, 2-1
Contact: Mike O'Brien
AMHERST, Mass. – Friday night featured a NESCAC thriller between the top-two teams in the league, the 10th-ranked Amherst women’s ice squad against No. 2 Middlebury College at Orr Rink, in which the Panthers prevailed with a 2-1 win.
Middlebury held off a persistent Amherst attack in the third period to claim the win and improve to 10-1-1 overall and 6-0-1 in the NESCAC, claiming sole possession of first place in the league. With the loss, Amherst is now 8-3-2 on the season and 5-1-1 in league play.
The Panthers took advantage of their power play opportunities on Friday night and with a player advantage late in the first period, Jennifer Krakower ’14 zipped one to the back of the net from the front right side of the ice. She was assisted by Carly Watson ’17 and Sara Ugalde ’14 on the play to claim an early 1-0 lead at the 18:37 mark.
The lead was short-lived however, as Amherst’s leading scorer Tori Salmon ’15 snuck one past Middlebury goalie Annabelle Jones ’15 for her seventh goal of the year in just 19 seconds into the second period. Erin Martin ’16 assisted the junior forward on the play to record her team-high eighth assist.
After 13 minutes of scoreless play, Middlebury took advantage of another power play when Madeline Joyce ’14 tacked on the eventual game-winner from Pam Schulman ’17 and Katie Mandigo ’16 with just over six minutes remaining in the second period.
Amherst had plenty of chances to tie the game but fell short. During the closing minutes of the second frame, the Jeffs held a player advantage when Martin came inches away from two game-tying opportunities but Jones made spectacular saves to keep the lead intact.
The third period was all Amherst as the Purple & White put heavy pressure on the Panther defense and outshot their opponent 16-to-3. Under 12 minutes to play in regulation, the Jeffs held a 6-on-4 power play but couldn’t find the back of the net. Salmon had a great scoring chance from the front right of the ice when her shot hit the post. Martin was there for the rebound but Jones protected another potential game-tying play.
With under two minutes to play, Amherst had another strong chance when Eileen Harris ’16 received a wide open pass right in front of the net but her attempt was blocked as the Panthers held on for the victory.
Amherst held a decisive 34-15 advantage in shots but was 0-for-4 on power plays while Middlebury went 2-for-3. Jones made 33 saves in net for the Panthers en route to her seventh win on the year while Kerri Stuart '14 posted 13 stops in the losing effort.
The Jeffs return to the ice tomorrow for a rematch against Middlebury. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Orr Rink.