Hartford, Conn. - Senior captain Jamie McNamara (Dedham, Mass.) scored the game-winning goal 3:39 into overtime to lead the visiting Amherst College Mammoths to a 3-2 victory over the Trinity College Bantams in the quarterfinal round of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women's Ice Hockey Championship Tournament this afternoon at Williams Rink in the Koeppel Community Sports Center. Trinity completes its season with an 11-11-3 record, while the Mammoths improve to 12-10-2 and advance to the NESCAC Semifinals at Williams College next Saturday. Bantam sophomore forward Karinna Cave-Hawkins (Annapolis, Md.) scored twice including the game-tying goal to force overtime in the final minute of the third period.
Neither team found the back of the net in the first period but for a lack of opportunities. The Bantams nearly broke things open near the seven minute mark on a shot by sophomore Sierra Lee (Ferguson's Cove, Nova Scotia) but her attempt was turned aside by Amherst goalie Caitlin Walker (Columbus, Ohio). The puck kicked around to the neutral zone before McNamara picked it up and found herself 1-on-1 with Trinity goalie Kai-Lilly Karpman (Playa Del Ray, Calif.). McNamara fired a shot but Karpman held her ground and turned the puck aside to keep the Mammoths off the board. Trinity had another promising scoring chance with just five seconds left in the period when first-year Ellie Fellows (Westport, Mass.) had a clean look at goal, but Walker stoned the attempt as both teams entered the first intermission deadlocked at 0-0.
The Bantams finally broke things open, just 49 seconds into the second period, to take a 1-0 lead. Fellows and senior captain Alex Sinson(Elm Grove, Wisc.) assisted on the first Cave-Hawkins tally who beat Walker to the back of the net from short range. Amherst continued to flurry Karpman with shots, including a pair from Anne Malloy (Canton, Mass.) and Emma Flynn (Wolcott, Conn.) with just under seven minutes left in the period, but Karpman held tough between the pipes to preserve the 1-0 lead. With 12:39 left to go in the third period, Amherst had a chance for the equalizer after finding itself with a 2-on-1 in Trinity's zone. Jocelyn Hunyadi (Concord, Ohio) skated towards Karpman's left and fired a shot from close, but once again Karpman made the save, grabbing the puck out of the air with her glove.
The Mammoths finally broke through just a short time later when Sarah Wagner (Hanover, N.H.) flipped in a backhand off a faceoff in the Bantam zone, won by Hunyadi. Less than a minute later, at the 8:32 mark, Amherst went ahead, 2-1, when Miriam Eickhoff (Hanover, N.H.) scored on the power play from Katie Savage (Amston, Conn.). Trinity picked up the pressure in the third frame but Amherst's defense responded likewise. In desperation mode, Karpman left net with 1:11 remaining to give the Bantams an extra skater. Trinity kept the puck in the attacking zone before finding the equalizer with 47 seconds left. After a hard shot by sophomore Julia Lee (Ferguson's Cove, Nova Scotia) was blocked by Laura Schmidlein (Waltham, Mass.), Fellows sent the puck towards net that found the stick of classmate Angelica Mushenko (East Longmeadow, Mass.). Mushenko re-directed the puck to Cave-Hawkins behind Walker who poked it into the back of the net to tie things at 2-2.
In overtime, Amherst killed off 1:12 of a late penalty in regulation thanks to four Walker saves. McNamara beat Karpman for the clincher after Karpman had initially knocked the puck away from Mammoth senior Katelyn Pantera (North Branford, Conn.). Karpman finished with 28 saves and Walker stopped 27 shots. Both teams were penalized just once for two minutes, and the Mammoths finished with a 32-to-29 shooting advantage. Fellows assisted on both Bantam goals.