Women's ice hockey rally comes up short
Randi Zukas '11 scored one goal and had two assists to lead nationally ranked No. 5 Amherst College to a 4-3 win against Hamilton College in a New England Small College Athletic Conference women's ice hockey game at Hamilton's Russell Sage Rink on Jan. 23.
Amherst (10-4-2 overall, 8-1-1 NESCAC) won its fourth straight game. The Jeffs blanked Hamilton 1-0 on Saturday night, and led 3-0 after two periods, before the Continentals came roaring back in the third.
Zukas leads Amherst with 11 assists. Ellen Swiontkowski '12 chipped in one goal and one assist, and Sinead Murphy '12 stopped 15 shots.
Three different players scored goals for Hamilton (6-9-0, 4-6). Stephanie Miguel '11 was credited with two assists, and now has 49 for her career. Becca Hazlett '13 made 36 saves.
Geneva Lloyd '13 gave the Jeffs a 1-0 lead at 2:21 of the first period. Just seven seconds after Amherst's first power-play ended, Swiontkowski passed the puck to Lloyd, who hammered a one-timer from below the right circle into the back of the net.
Murphy came up big twice for the Jeffs early in the second period. She stopped Miguel on a breakaway opportunity, and then turned Gigi Fraser '14 away on a 2-on-none break as the Continentals caught Amherst on a line change.
The Jeffs stretched their lead late in the period. Zukas made the score 2-0 with a nice wrist shot from above the left circle near the blue line with 2:49 left. Swiontkowski made it a three-goal cushion during a 4-on-3 power play with 1:19 remaining when she connected on a shot from the middle of the left circle.
Hamilton started its rally just 32 seconds into the third period. Jill Tokarczyk '14 fired a slap shot from above the left circle that was blocked, and the loose puck came to Fraser in the slot, where she fired it past Murphy. The goal ended Amherst's shutout streak against the Continentals at 100 minutes, 32 seconds.
Two Jeffs were sent to the penalty box within 26 seconds of each other, which gave Hamilton a 5-on-3 power play for 1:34 starting at 5:04 of the third. The Continentals took advantage 31 seconds later when Meredith Bitterman '12 smashed a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle for her second goal this season. The power-play goal was Hamilton's first since Dec. 3 at Bowdoin College -- a span of nine games.
The score remained 3-2 until 4:22 remained in the period. A slap shot by Amherst's Emily Vitale '12 was blocked in the slot by the Continentals' Bret Lineberry '11, but the puck bounced to Julia Koch '11 in the right circle, and her slap shot eluded Hazlett.
After a hooking penalty on the Jeffs with 1:12 left, Hazlett was pulled for an extra skater. Hamilton took advantage of the 6-on-4 situation and pulled within one goal again. Stephanie Lang '14 knocked in a loose puck from the left post with 41.6 seconds left to make it 4-3. The Continentals were able to remove Hazlett again for the final 15 seconds, but didn't get a shot on goal.
Amherst enjoyed a 40-18 shot advantage, and was 1-for-5 on the power play. Hamilton entered the afternoon just 2-for-73 on the power play, but was 2-for-7 against the Jeffs. The all-time series is tied, 13-13-2, as the two-time defending NCAA Division III champion Jeffs are unbeaten in their last 13 games against the Continentals.
Hamilton hosts SUNY Potsdam in non-conference action on Tuesday, Jan. 25. Amherst hosts Colby College on Friday, Jan. 28, for a NESCAC game