HARTFORD, Conn. – Alex Toupal '18 tallied her fourth multi-goal game of the season and Sabrina Dobbins '18 recorded her first shutout win in conference play, as the fifth-seeded Amherst College women's ice hockey team upset fourth-seeded Trinity College, 2-0 in NESCAC Championship Quarterfinal action Saturday evening at the Koeppel Center.
With the win, Amherst improves to 13-7-5 on the year, while Trinity concludes its season with an overall record of 9-13-3. Advancing to the NESCAC Semifinals, Amherst is set to play on Saturday, March 4 against an opponent yet to be determined at top-seeded Middlebury College.
Making a bid to open scoring four minutes into the first stanza, Kelcie Finn attempted to convert on a turn over behind the Amherst net, putting a quick wrap around shot on frame. Anticipating the play and holding tight on the post, Dobbins came up with the stop to preserve the scoreless deadlock.
Sarah Wagner '19 and Sara Culhane '17 teamed up to give Amherst a scoring chance with 12:58 on the clock, with Wagner ripping a shot on net and Culhane crashing the rebound, but Sydney Belinskas stood tall on the goal line.
Netting her NESCAC-leading 18th score of the winter and what proved to be the difference maker midway through the second period, Toupal gave the Purple & White a 1-0 lead at the 9:53 mark behind an unassisted tally. Picking off a pass at the defensive blueline to earn a breakaway, Toupal fired a wrist shot into the bottom corner of the goal, blocker side.
Threatening with 6:58 on the clock, Melissa Maffeo nearly evened the score behind a solid individual effort. Corralling the loose puck at center ice, Maffeo beat her defender to earn a clear path to net, however Dobbins proved up to the task and smothered the attempt.
Amherst responded with a chance of its own less than a minute later as Anne Malloy '20 skated out of the corner and dished a pass to Lynndy Smith '17 alone on the far post, but Smith was unable to get a clean shot off on the play.
Recording her second score of the contest, Toupal notched the final dagger for Amherst with 39.1 seconds remaining in the third stanza. Capitalizing on an impressive hustle play by Katie Savage '19, Toupal blasted a shot from just outside the blueline into an empty net to lift the Purple & White to the 2-0 victory.
In between the pipes, Dobbins (6-4-3) registered 21 stops for Amherst in the winning effort, while Belinskas (7-5-1) made 24 saves for Trinity in the loss.Amherst owned a slight 26-21 edge in shot differential in the matchup.Toupal led all skaters with six shots on target, while Culhane put four shots on frame. Hannah Oganeku led the Bantams with four shots.Neither team saw success on the power play, with both sides finishing 0-for-2 up a skater.