Women’s Ice Hockey Rallies to Win Season Opener Over Amherst in Battle of Nationally-Ranked Programs

Women’s Ice Hockey Rallies to Win Season Opener Over Amherst in Battle of Nationally-Ranked Programs

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Sophomore Kylie Wilkes (Howell, N.J.) finished a pass from freshman Erin Dillon (Hazlet, N.J.) with under six minutes left in the third period as the #10 Connecticut College women's ice hockey team rallied to defeat #8 Amherst by a 3-2 score on Friday evening at Dayton Arena.

Connecticut College, which is ranked 10th nationally by USCHO.com, scored just 3:12 into the contest after Amherst's Jamie McNamara was called off the ice for tripping. Senior Kate Kohl (Chelmsford, Mass.) blitzed her way to the net and put the Camels on the board after receiving a pass from junior Elena Gualtieri (Rome, N.Y.). Senior captain Lily Connolly (Duxbury, Mass.) was also credited with an assist on the play, and the hosts carried a one-goal lead into the first intermission.

After a scoreless second period which saw the visitors hold a 13-8 advantage in total shots, the offenses caught fire to set up a thrilling finish in the third. Amherst (0-1, NESCAC 0-1) tied the game when Miriam Eickhoff took a pass from Alex Toupal on the left side at the 6:07 mark of the period and then went ahead just four seconds into a power play. Jocelyn Hunyadi won the ensuing faceoff, and Katelyn Pantera quickly scored to make it 2-1 with less than nine minutes left and set up a wild ending.

Despite giving up the lead they earned in the opening minutes, the Camels stormed back and scored twice in a span of 2:04 to take control. Dillon ripped the puck to the top shelf of the goal at the 12:23 mark and then found Wilkes, who one-timed a quick pass to put the hosts ahead. Amherst's hopes of coming back were eventually dashed when Kristen Molina was sent to the box with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, and the Camels were able to hold on to earn the victory.

Junior goalie Bailey Mertz (Glenville, N.Y.) picked up the victory for Connecticut College by making 28 saves, while Amherst's Sabrina Dobbins suffered the loss despite turning away 29 shots.

Connecticut College (1-0, NESCAC 1-0) and Amherst will face off again tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m.