WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Trailing 2-1 midway through the first period the Amherst Mammoths (11-5-3/NESCAC 7-3-2) scored four unanswered goals to build a 5-2 lead and went on to defeat host Williams (9-6-5/NESCAC 3-5-4), 5-3.
A fast paced and somewhat frenetic penalty-free first period featured four goals, two by each team. Williams scored first and then Amherst responded and when the Ephs took a 2-1 lead Amherst again responded.
Nineteen seconds into the opening session Amherst's Alex Toupal turned the Eph defense over at the blue line and fired a shot on Eph goalie Marissa Anderson, but it was just wide.
The Ephs scored on their first shot on goal as Meghan Halloran converted off of passes from Abby Brustad and Annie Rush. Brustad had skated onto a loose puck at the Eph blue line and fed Rush who carried the puck into the offensive zone to the left of Amherst goalie Bailey Plaman. Rush dropped a pass off to her left to an on rushing Halloran who roofed a shot over Plaman's right shoulder at 2:27.
Just over four minutes later Eph goalie Marissa Anderson was tested. A wicked slap shot from the blue line off to her left by Ava Simoncelli required Anderson to catch and hold the puck to force a faceoff.
Amherst tied the game at 8:50 when Emma Flynn's shot on Anderson was pushed to the right side by Anderson's stick, but the Mammoths' Alex Toupal was first to collect the rebound and she fired a shot into the net from a dramatic angle on the left side to beat Anderson. Kristin Molina and Katie Savage were credited with assists on the Toupal tally.
Less than three minutes later Bailey Plaman pounced on a loose puck in the crease that had been deflected past her defense and she kept the score at 2-1, Williams.
Amherst tied the contest at two at 15:47 when the Mammoths won a faceoff in their defensive zone and crisply moved the puck out of the zone. Amherst raced over the blue line and Emma Flynn was able to knot the score from just outside the crease to Anderson's left off a crisp pass by Alex Toupal.
Williams out shot Amherst nine to seven in the opening period. Amherst's Bailey Plaman stopped seven of nine Eph shots, while the Eph' Marissa Anderson turned aside five of seven Amherst shots.
At 4:35 with Amherst pressuring the Eph goal Anderson had to come out of the crease to poke away a dangerous loose puck with her stick and quell and an Amherst attack.
At six minutes Anderson was able to save a backhand shot by Katelyn Pantera to keep the score level at two. However, Amherst's Mia Del Rosso was able to get to the puck first and scored before Anderson could fully recover. Del Rosso's goal was her first of the season and gave the Mammoths their first lead of the night, 3-2 at 6:05.
Alex Toupal's second goal of the night gave Amherst a two-goal lead, 4-2, at 10:46 when she scored in close with Katie Savage and Laura Schmidlin collecting assists.
The Ephs' best scoring opportunity in the period came at 16:20 when Annie Rush had an open look and unleashed a bullet 15 yards out to the left of Plaman, but Plaman was able to get a piece of the shot and steer it into the left corner and out of harm's way.
Amherst took a 4-2 lead into the second intermission.
Amherst out shot the Ephs 13-4 in the second period in building a two-goal advantage.
The Ephs came out with a lot of energy in the third period and just over a minute in Brynn Puppe challenged Plaman from 12 yards out ot the left of the goal, but Plaman was able to deny Puppe with her blocker.
Five minutes into the period Amherst goalie Bailey Plaman withstood a Williams attack that started with a blistering shot from the blue line by Brynn Puppe that bounced off Plaman and dropped in front of the goal. Although a couple of Ephs were waiting on the doorstep in front for the puck to bounce their way, the puck went off to the side and ended the threat.
Eight minutes in Annie Rush came in on Plaman's right side and tried to stuff the puck inside the near post, but Plaman kept the puck out of the net and the score remained Amherst 4 and the Ephs 2.
Ninety seconds later the Ephs' Amanda Reisman had a good look from 12 yards out in front of Plaman, but Plaman was able to get a glove on the puck and corral it before it got loose.
Again the Ephs were back threatening Plaman at 8:40 and this time Abby Brustad uncorked a wrist shot from 10 yards out from in front of the goal that Plaman was able to gather in and force a faceoff.
With the Ephs mustering yet another attack on the Amherst goal the Mammoths' Mia Del Rosso gathered in a loose puck and found Alex Toupal at the top of the defensive zone and hit her with a crisp pass. Toupal skated into the offensive zone and fired a wrist shot past Andersson from 12 yards out to the left of the goal and the Mammoths now owend a 5-2 lead at 13:16.
The first penalty of the contest came at 17:55 when the Ephs' Kearan Burke was whistled for checking, putting the Mammoths on the power play. At 18:11 Amherst was called for their first penalty when Alex Toupal was called for tripping.
The Ephs pulled goalie Marissa Anderson when Toupal was penalized, but could not score again.
Amherst out shot the Ephs in the final 20 minutes 11-9.
On the night Amherst goalie Bailey Plaman made 23 saves and allowed three goals and the Ephs' Marissa Anderson made 21 saves and allowed five goals.
"I thought we came out strong and had good momentum, but we let them take that away," said Eph head coach Meghan Gillis. "We need to find a way to compete as a group more consistently."
The Ephs will return to action next Friday at 7:00 PM when they host the Trinity Bantams NESCAC contest. On Saturday the Ephs and Bantams will meet again this time at 3:00 PM.