WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The 45th meeting between archrivals Williams (9-8-1/6-4-1 NESCAC) and Amherst (9-5-3/5-3-3 NESCAC) ended in a 1-1 tie when Amherst's Alex Toupal's third period goal matched the first period tally by the Ephs' Sara Lehman.
Williams leads the all-time series 24-19-2.
Just under two minutes in with Williams pressuring the Amherst defense, Amherst's Alex Toupal stole an Eph pass at the blue line and went in alone on Eph goalie Marissa Anderson. Toupal's bid to score inside of the left post was deflected off to the right side by Anderson's blocker. The puck went into the corner and out of harm's way.
At 6:07 Eph forward Olivia Stoke spun to her right 20 feet out from the goal and fired a low tester to the right of Amherst goalie Sabrina Dobbins, who at the last second got her stick on the puck to keep it out of the net.
Williams struck first at 9:20 when Emily Eide ripped a shot from just inside the blue line out to Dobbins' left. The shot was high but Sara Lehman tipped it down lower and just inside the post to Dobbins' right, where it rattled off the post and into the goal, giving Williams a 1-0 lead.
At 15:05 the Ephs' Caitlyn Buckley was whistled for hooking and Amherst had the first power play opportunity of the contest. Williams successfully killed off the Buckley infraction. Amherst had four shots with the man advantage, but only one required Anderson to make a save.
In the final minute of the period Amherst had a two on one and Miriam Eickhoff came in on Anderson on the goalie's left side, but Eickhoff's shot was at Anderson's mid section and the Eph goalie caught it against her body to keep Amherst of the scoreboard.
Williams took a 1-0 lead into the first break. Amherst's Sabrina Dobbins stopped 8 of 9 Eph shots in the opening stanza, while the Ephs' Marissa Anderson denied all 8 Amherst attempts.
In the second period Amherst's Kristen Molina tested Anderson from directly out front from 20 feet away but her low shot was steered off to the right by Anderson's stick in the 6th minute of the period.
Amherst's Jocelyn Hunyadi sent a backhander in on Anderson just under eight minutes into the period that Anderson was able to glove for a faceoff as the Amherst attack began to pick up steam.
The Ephs' Abby Brustad quelled the Amherst surge momentarily with a testing shot on Dobbins, but the Amherst goalie was up to the task with a blocker save in the 11th minute.
Moments later the Ephs' Amanda Reisman fired a shot on Dobbins from 18 feet out to the goalie's left that Dobbins got a piece of, but could not control and when the puck dropped to the ice several Ephs tried to jam it home, but finally Dobbins covered it up to keep the score 1-0.
With just over six minutes left in the period Amherst's Alex Toupal shot from 14 feet out just inside the faceoff circle and her shot nicked the right pipe and glanced off the boards, where the Eph defense gained control.
Kristen Molina had a shot from the left of Anderson with 90 seconds left in the period but the first year Eph goalie calmly steered it into the corner with her stick to preserve the Eph lead.
After two periods Williams was still on top 1-0. In the second period Dobbins stopped all nine Eph shots and the Ephs' Marissa Anderson denied Amherst's nine shots.
Just over two and a half minutes into the final frame the Ephs' Marissa Anderson stopped a hard shot from eight feet away by Amherst's Caitlyn Ryan. Less than minute later the Ephs' Abby Brustad fired on Dobbins from 8 feet out to the left of the goal and forced Dobbins to drop to her knees to make the save at 3:43 of the period.
Sixteen seconds later the Ephs' Sara Lehman's pass across the goal mouth from the right of Dobbins got deflected inadvertently by an Amherst defender into the crease and Dobbins had to pounce on it before the Ephs could tip it in.
With eight minutes gone, a blast from the blue line out to Anderson's left by Amherst's Emma Griese ticked the outside of the right post and bounced to the boards behind the Eph goal, where the Eph defenders were able to gather it in and get it out of the Amherst offensive zone.
Nearing the midway point of the final period the Amherst attack put more pressure on the Eph defense firing off seven shots in just over a minute and a half, five of which Marissa Anderson had to save and two that were wide.
At 14:36 of the final period the second penalty of the game was called and it was the second on the Ephs. This time Alex Lovaas was sent to the box for two minutes for holding.
Just 52 seconds later the Ephs put themselves on the wrong side of a two-man advantage when Chelsey Stevenson was called for holding.
Amherst would have a 5 on 3 advantage for a minute and 21 seconds. Amherst only needed 40 seconds to tie the game as Alex Toupal was not to be denied from out front. Caitlyn Ryan and Lynndy Smith were credited with assists on the Toupal goal.
Alex Toupal's bid to give Amherst the lead at 18:18 was gloved by Anderson for a faceoff.
Amherst's Anna Malloy had a bid to give the visitors the lead with 13.6 seconds left in the period, but Anderson denied her and covered the puck and the contest was headed to overtime.
With 4:20 remaining in overtime the Ephs' Chelsey Stevenson was called for slashing.
Jocelyn Hunyadi's bid from in front of the crease to give Amherst the lead was stoned by Marissa Anderson and the Ephs killed off the Stevenson penalty.
The Ephs called time out with 13.8 left in overtime with a faceoff coming to the left of Anderson.
Williams won the faceoff and drove the puck behind the Amherst goal and when the puck was played to the blue line by the Ephs time expired leaving the contest tied at 1-1.
On the night Amherst's Sabrina Dobbins turned aside 27 Williams shots, while Eph goalie Marissa Anderson made 33 saves.
"I thought we played great in the first period and had some good chances to extend the lead in the second," said Eph head coach Meghan Gillis. "They put us on our heels to start the third period and capitalized on the two-man advantage. We played a great 40 minutes, but to beat a good team like Amherst you have to play 60 great minutes."
The 46th meeting between the two archrivals will unfold tomorrow evening in Amherst at 7:30 p.m.