Women’s Hockey Earns 5-5 Draw During NESCAC Play Against Amherst

January 18, 2014

For the second time in as many days, a NESCAC thriller between the top-two teams in the league happened inside Orr Rink as second-ranked Middlebury earned a 5-5 draw at 10th-ranked Amherst. The game comes on the heels of Middlebury’s thrilling 2-1 victory against the Jeffs Friday. The Panthers will return to the ice for a home game next Friday evening against Bowdoin at 7:00 p.m.

Middlebury moves to 10-1-2 overall and 6-0-2 record in league play, while Amherst is now 8-3-3 and 5-1-2. The matchup featured five ties and six third period goals.

It took only 46 seconds for Middlebury to score the first goal of the game as a loose puck in front of the net found Sara Ugalde as she caught Jeff goalie Kerri Stuart out of position and tapped it in near the right post to go ahead, 1-0.

Following the Panthers score, Amherst controlled the puck the majority of the period and at the 14:39 mark, Erin Martin found Tori Salmon in front of the net as the forward wound up and fired one to the back of the net, past Middlebury goalie Annabelle Jones to tie the game.

At the 10:33 mark of the second period, Martin controlled a pass from Salmon behind a Panther defender for a clear breakaway towards net when the sophomore forward slipped it under the pads of Jones through the five hole to take a 2-1 lead. Salmon and Hayley Opperman were credited with assists on the play.

However, shortly after the Jeffs went ahead, the Panthers capitalized on a power play opportunity when Carly Watson dished it off to Jennifer Krakower just inside the blue line at the back right as Krakower connected on a deep slap shot to even the score with 7:19 remaining in the period.

Tied at 2-2 entering the final frame, Salmon put Amherst ahead 3-2 early in the third period when she received a pass from Caitlyn Ryan at the center of the ice. The junior controlled the puck and skated past Middlebury defenders for a clear breakaway as she connected with the back of the net just 17 seconds into the third.

Following another Amherst penalty, the Panthers once again took advantage of a power play opportunity and Emily Fluke scored within 16 seconds of the Jeff player entering the penalty box. She was assisted by Carly Watson and Sara Ugalde.

Roughly five minutes later, Mackenzie Martin connected on a one-timer from Jane Freda and Anna Van Kula from directly in front of the net as Middlebury regained the lead with less than 11 minutes remaining in regulation.

Amherst came right back and evened the score at the 11:23 mark on a power play opportunity as Madeline Tank connected on a one-timer of her own, off a pass from Lynndy Smith. Ryan was also credited with an assist but just 22 seconds later, the Panthers retaliated and regained a lead as Pam Schulman tacked on the fifth Middlebury score of the game.

Amherst remained persistent and with 3:32 remaining in the game, Courtney Baranek dished a pretty pass to Salmon who finished off the spectacular play with the game-tying goal and her third of the day.

As the game entered overtime, Stuart and Jones held strong between the posts despite several great looks from both teams. With just over three minutes to go, Middlebury’s Madeline Joyce had an open look at net but missed wide. Amherst regained possession and Smith sent one towards the net that bounced off Jones and dropped in front of the goal.

However, Jones scooped it up before any Jeff could make a play on it. Eileen Harris had one last scoring threat for Amherst when the sophomore forward found herself all alone in front of the net but her attempt was saved by Jones with just 49 seconds remaining in the game.

Amherst outshot Middlebury 24-19 and went 1-for-4 on power plays. Middlebury finished 2-for-6 on their power play opportunities. Stuart recorded 14 stops between the pipes for the Jeffs and is now 7-3-2 on the year while Jones recorded 19 saves and holds a 7-0-2 record.