Women’s Hockey Routs Ephs in Doubleheader
By Matt Fernald '13, Sports Section Editor
The women’s hockey team wrapped up a successful weekend that was jam-packed with Amherst-Williams clashes. Demonstrating once again why they are the two-time defending Div. III champions, the women rolled to a pair of easy wins over their rivals to extend the program’s win streak versus Williams to 10 games.

In the first game on Friday night, the women hit the ice on the wrong skate as the lower-ranked Ephs took a 1-0 lead in the first 40 seconds, marking only the sixth first-period goal Amherst has allowed all year. The Jeffs were quick to right the ship, however, as junior Stephanie Clegg scored a power play goal midway trough the first and sophomore Kaitlyn McInnis found the net a few minutes later, giving the Jeffs a solid 2-1 lead after the first period.

The first period was a relatively close affair compared to what was to follow: just over four minutes into the second, McInnis found the net again for her team to make it a 3-1 game. Three power-play goals were also added to the Jeffs’ quickly-rising total from sophomore Geneve Lloyd, freshman Barrett McBride and senior Courtney Hanlon. Heading into the final frame with a massive 6-1 lead, the Lady Jeffs did not let up, scoring three times in the opening five minutes. Junior Ellen Swiontkowski started the early run, followed by a quick pair of goals from sophomore Ellen Doyen. And as if 9-1 weren’t enough of a victory for the battle-hungry Jeffs, McBride became the third player on the night to score two goals as she scored Amherst’s tenth unanswered goal with about three minutes left. Junior goaltender Sinead Murphy had 14 saves on the night.

“This weekend came at a good time for us,” said McInnis. “We were able to get a glimpse of our offensive potential and hopefully it will continue through the start of playoffs.”

The playoffs are yet to be determined, but the women were clearly still carrying momentum the following evening: The second game was a slightly tighter affair, but only just. Galvanized from the previous night’s beatdown, the women scored midway through the first period, only to have the Ephs tie the game at 1-1 just 30 seconds later. A quick 3-0 run from the Jeffs seemed to crack open the contest in their favor: freshman Ashley Salerno got the ball rolling with a goal right at the end of the first period. A fortuitous five-on-three advantage four minute into the second gave Hanlon the opportunity to deflect a shot from sophomore Geneva Lloyd into the net and followed up three minutes later to make it a 4-1 game.

Williams did not like the prospects of another 10-1 loss at the hands of their rivals and produced a quick surge, scoring twice in two minutes to pull within one, sending both teams away at the end of the second with the score at 4-3. Penalties at the start of the third troubled the Ephs, however, as the Jeffs were awarded with another five-on-three advantage. Lloyd scored to put the Jeffs ahead 5-3, and Clegg scored her first of the night to make it a 6-3 lead for the hosts. A final goal from senior Bradie Campbell made the final score 7-3, ending a wildly successful weekend for Amherst.

“Earlier in the season, we struggled to score goals, so to score 17 in two games was pretty exciting,” said Clegg. “We’re excited about our two games this week and know that they could factor into NCAA bids later in the season. It looks like we’re peaking at just the right time, and we couldn’t be more excited.”

“This weekend really showcased the depth of talent on the team [and] we got some great momentum we hope to carry through the rest of the regular season,” added Murphy.

In the two games combined, Amherst outscored Williams 17-4, outshot them 83-32, and scored six power play goals while killing all seven power plays they faced.

The Jeffs took on a decent New England College (11-7-5) team on Tuesday night. Despite outshooting New England by a healthy 36-6 margin, the Jeffs needed an overtime goal from Randi Zukas to secure a 3-2 victory. Zukas finished the night with a goal and two assists, extending her points streak to six games.

Amherst opened the scoring with a power play goal with six minutes left in the first period. The Jeffs continued to dominate in the second period, and doubled their lead 6:23 into the middle frame after a rebound goal from junior Erin Babineau. The Jeffs, however, encountered some unlucky bounces, hitting the post five times in the second period. Those close misses kept New England within striking distance of a comeback.

New England capitalized on their few, precious opportunities, scoring the next two goals to send the game to overtime. The Jeffs’ absolute dominance was ultimately rewarded, however, as Zukas ripped a game-winning slap shot goal with 2:08 remaining in the extra session.

Issue 15, Submitted 2011-02-16 18:55:34