MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Gina Mangiafridda, Sarah Goss and Cici Frattasio each recorded two-point outings for the Wesleyan University women's ice hockey team on Saturday afternoon, as the Cardinals went back and forth with No. 8-ranked Amherst, but ultimately fell, 3-2, in Amherst, Mass.
The Cardinals (6-14-4, 2-10-4 NESCAC) posted a signature win on Friday evening with a 2-1 win over the Mammoths in Middletown, Conn., as sophomore forward Allie Damren notched the game winner at the 5:34 mark of the second.
That win allowed the Cardinals to qualify for the 2018 NESCAC Tournament as the eighth seed, and the squad will make the journey to Middlebury, Vt., for a quarterfinal-round matchup against top-seeded and No. 4-ranked Middlebury on Saturday at 1 p.m.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Cardinals were staring at a 2-0 deficit late in the second period, but Frattasio ripped a pass to Mangiafridda in open ice, and the Pelham, N.Y. native showcased her skating ability, flying down toward the net, and she beat Mammoths senior goalie Sabrina Dobbins far side.
- Amherst (14-6-4, 9-4-3 NESCAC) developed a two-goal cushion at 3-1 with 8:39 on the clock in the third. With the Mammoths on the power play, freshman defensewoman Mia DelRosso sniped a shot from the right point into the bottom left corner of the net. Freshman forward Emma Flynn and junior forward Katie Savage picked up assists on the tally.
- Wesleyan, which also defeated Hamilton, 3-1, on Jan. 20 at the Spurrier-Snyder Rink refused to go quietly and played to the final whistle, as the coaching staff elected to empty the net with one minute, 45 seconds left. The decision was rewarded quickly, as the Cardinals trimmed the deficit to 3-2 with 59 seconds left in regulation on Frattasio's third goal of the year. Goss and Mangiafridda orchestrated the scoring play for the Cardinals.
- Amherst went up 1-0 with 3:07 left in the first, as freshman forward Rose Mroczka fired a shot, which was saved by Cardinals sophomore goalie Allegra Grant, but sophomore forward Eliza Laycock was able to direct the rebound into the left side of the net.
- Freshman forward Kaitlin Hoang, redirected a shot from DelRosso at the point just inside the right post, giving the hosts a 2-0 lead with nine minutes, 27 seconds elapsed in the second frame.
- Cardinals junior defensewoman Jackie Kilar posted a strong scoring chance for the visitors with seven minutes left in the first, as she fired a shot from the slot on net, but Mammoths senior goalie Bailey Plaman was able to kick the drive aside.
- Wesleyan will be competing in the NESCAC Tournament for the second consecutive season and the sixth time in program history, as the Cardinals saw extraordinary leadership this season by 10th-year head coach Jodi McKenna and assistants Keira Goin and Sydney Rossman. Senior captain Alex Horton was also a lead-by-example type of player all year, and Nash and Goss were exceptional as assistant captains.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Grant posted a game-high 40 saves for the Cardinals, including 17 in the first and 15 in the third. Plaman made nine saves for Amherst during the opening 29 minutes, 14 seconds, and then Dobbins recorded another nine stops during the final 30 minutes, 46 seconds, in relief.
- The Mammoths outshot the Cardinals, 43-20, and won 37-of-63 faceoffs. Mangiafridda was efficient in the circle for Wesleyan, going 16-of-27, and Hoang was a pefect 7-of-7 for Amherst.
- Kilar led the way for Wesleyan with four shots on goal, and senior captain Alex Toupal sent a game-high 10 shots on net, which were all denied by Grant.
- The hosts went 1-for-6 on the power play, and Wesleyan was unsuccessful during three power-play opportunities.
- The Cardinals will square off against Middlebury in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC Tournament on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Middlebury, Vt.