Women's Hockey Drops Title Game In Triple Overtime

March 4, 2007

Amherst won its first NESCAC Championship as they defeated Middlebury 2-1 in the longest game ever played in NCAA Division III women's hockey. The triple-overtime game lasted almost 102 minutes, with Amherst goaltender Krystyn Elek making a tournament-record 65 saves as her team was out shot 66-24 on the day. The Jeffs will make their first NCAA Tournament appearance when the pairings are announced on Sunday night, while Middlebury is expected to get an at-large bid.

Amherst scored the game-winner just 1:54 into the third overtime when Molly Malloy carried the puck around the back of the net and attempted a wrap-around shot. Middlebury netminder Lani Wright slid across the crease and made a pad save. The puck sat in the crease where Anna MacLean quickly snapped a shot over Wright's pad and into the net.

Both teams had some great chances early, with the Jeffs going on a power play just 1:26 into the game. Tarasai Karega had a opportunity at 3:15, but her shot from the right hit the far post. Middlebury's Randi Dumont was then stopped on the doorstep by Elek at 5:16. The teams exchanged another pair of great opportunities at the 7:30 mark. After Alena Harrison's shot earmarked for the top right corner was saved by Middlebury's Lani Wright, Abby Kurtz-Phelan hit the left post just 15 seconds later.

Amherst took a 1-0 lead at 15:01 as Lindsey Harrington sent a pass to the crease from behind the net. Wright tried to poke the puck away, as it slid to MacLean, who fired a hard shot into the right side of the net. Middlebury tied the game with a power play goal at the 16:49 mark. Shannon Tarrant sent a pass to the left face-off circle, when Karen Levin quickly snapped a shot past Elek. The Panthers had a chance to take the lead with one minute remaining, but Annmarie Cellino's shot hit the right post.

Middlebury dominated the second period, out shooting Amherst 18-2 in the stanza. The Panthers were unable to get anything past Elek, who stopped all 18 shots she faced.

The third period was scoreless as well, with each team having some scoring chances. Elek continued her stellar play as she robbed Kurtz-Phelan on a backhander midway through the period. Molly Malloy had a chance for the Jeffs with 2:45 left, but Randi Dumont cleared the puck with a hand-pass after a save by Wright. Elek made one more stop with 20 seconds remaining as she denied Dumont who was driving toward the goal.

Each of the first two overtime periods saw both teams with chances to score, with Middlebury controlling a majority of the play. The Panthers out shot the Jeffs 17-7 in the first OT and 12-3 in the second. Each team had a power play opportunity in the first extra session, but were unable to score.

Elek made 127 saves in the tournament, a new record, while Wright made 22 saves for Middlebury.

Date: March 4, 2007 - 1:00 p.m.
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.

TEAM 1 2 3 1OT 2OT 3OT F
Amherst (19-5-3) 1 0 0 0 0 1 2
Middlebury (21-3-2) 1 0 0 0 0 0 1

A-1st (15:01) - Anna MacLean (Lindsey Harrington, Rachel Simon)
M-1st (16:49) - PP: Karen Levin (Shannon Tarrant)
A-3OT (1:54) - MacLean (Molly Malloy, Harrington)

Lani Wright-M (1:01:54 min., 22 saves, 2 GA)
Krystyn Elek-A (1:01:54 min., 65 saves, 1 GA)