Hickey scores, Rajsigl stops 50 for Panthers in setback
AMHERST, Mass. – The #9 Amherst College women's ice hockey team erupted for seven unanswered goals to skate past Plymouth State University, 7-1, in a non-conference game at Orr Rink on Wednesday evening.
With the setback the Panthers fall to 6-11-4, while Amherst runs its unbeaten streak to 10-straight to improve to 12-5-3 on the year.
Things started well for Plymouth State as the visitors got on the board in the opening minutes when senior Shannon Hickey (Arlington, Mass.) scored a rebound goal just 2:45 into the contest. Sophomore Amanda McPherson (Livonia, Mich.) fired a shot through traffic that was kick saved by Mammoth senior goaltender Sabrina Dobbins (New Castle, N.H.), but Hickey collected the rebound and flipped a backhander into the net to put the Panthers up early.
Amherst evened the score nine minutes later when sophomore Ava Simoncelli (Hamburg, N.Y.) picked up a loose puck at center ice and raced down the right side, powering a wrist shot from the right dot into the bottom left corner.
The Mammoths pulled ahead with senior Alex Toupal's (New Brighton, Minn.) 12th goal of the year with 6:12 remaining in the period. She collected a pass in the low slot, got around a defender and scored over the glove of freshman goalie Alex Rajsigl (Tecumseh, Ont.).
The hosts upped the lead to 3-1 early in the second period. Toupal whipped a forehand shot on net that Rajsigl turned away with a stick save, but junior Katie Savage (Amston, Conn.) won a race to the rebound and stuffed it home. Amherst added two more goals in the second, just 32 seconds apart, then tacked on a pair of third period scores to account for the 7-1 final.
Hickey's goal was her second of the season, while Rajsigl's 50 saves more than doubled her previous career-high while matching the most for a PSU netminder this season. Junior Emelie Lindqvist (Gulleråsen, Sweden) posted a 50-save performance in a 1-1 tie at the University of Massachusetts Boston on Nov. 17.
Toupal, the NESCAC's leading scorer, finished with three goals and two assists. Savage added two goals and a pair of helpers. Amherst outshot the Panthers by a 57-21 margin.
Plymouth State heads back to the confines of Hanaway Rink for its final four games of the regular season, starting with a pair of New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) contests this weekend. The Panthers host league-leading Norwich University on Friday night (6:00 p.m.), before welcoming Castleton University for a Saturday matinee (2:00 p.m.).
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