January 13 2016
The second-ranked Elmira College women's ice hockey team concluded its brutal stretch of non-conference play on Tuesday evening when it welcomed unbeaten No. 3/6 Amherst College to the Murray Athletic Center Ice Arena. In a thrilling back-and-forth tilt that saw several twists, turns and fluky goals, neither team could separate through 65 minutes of regulation and overtime in a 2-2 tie. The draw snaps Elmira's 11-game winning streak.
Sarah Hughson '18 and Katie Granato '19 found the back of the net for the Soaring Eagles, who held a lead deep into the game, before having it slip away late. Louisa Lippiatt Durnell '18, Maddy Jerolman '19 and Kristin Chivers '19 each tallied one assist apiece.
Kyle Nelson '17 got the starting nod for the first time in over a month and was spectacular against the potent Amherst offense. She looked extremely sharp despite the long layoff, coming up big on several occasions in the tightly contested game. The third-year netminder finished with 24 saves to remain unbeaten this season, pushing her record to 4-0-1.
The energy of the contest could be felt right out of the gates with both team's looking to add another signature non-conference victory to their respective résumés. The first period witnessed the home side and the visitors both create several excellent scoring chances.
Elmira opened the scoring 6:40 into the contest. Working with an attacking zone draw in the left circle, Lippiatt Durnell muddled the puck drop, while Jerolman gained inside position to push the puck behind the cage. Hughson corralled the net behind the cage and made a quick wraparound move, just barely pushing the puck over the goal line ahead of the outstretched pad of Amherst netminder Sabrina Dobbins.
Amherst did not wait long to equalize. Working an aggressive forecheck throughout the contest, which would translate into the tying goal at 9:34 of the first period. Pressuring the puck deep, Elmira attempted to make a clear up the left wing boards, but Amherst's Caroline Bornstein would cut the puck off at her right point. She fired a knuckling puck that went over the shoulder of the screened Nelson.
EC reestablished the lead just 1:35 into the second period on a highlight-reel goal by Granato. Chivers started the breakout in her own zone, winning a race to a loose puck on the left-wing boards and lifting into empty space in the neutral zone. Granato flew to the puck and raced down the left-wing into the Amherst end. Showcasing her excellent hands she protected on her backhand and nimbly lifted a backhander that went bar down off the far post.
Elmira would hold the lead late into the third period, but the visitors had one final answer to spoil the party for the Soaring Eagles. Lynndy Smith whipped a puck into a mass of humanity in Nelson's crease, which Amherst's Brenna Sullivan located and got just enough of her stick on the puck to redirect it over the goal line.
The Soaring Eagles looked to have netted a potential game-winning goal with under two minutes remaining in regulation. With EC's pacey second line buzzing in the visitors end, Jerolman fired a sneaky wrister from the right circle. Dobbins got in front of the puck to smother it; however, it would eventually find its way through her equipment and into the net. Unfortunately for Elmira, the whistle went before the puck crossed the goal line, as the referee lost sight of the puck, washing out the potential winning goal.
Overtime proved to be somewhat cautious for both teams. Amherst generated the best chance of the extra session when Alex Toupal sent a hard wrister from just inside the left circle; however, Nelson calmly denied it with her blocker to neutralize the threat.