The Hamilton College Continentals and nationally ranked No. 9 Amherst College played to a 2-2 tie on Saturday afternoon at Amherst's Orr Rink.
Hamilton (12-7-3, 8-4-2 NESCAC) remained in fourth place in the conference standings with two games left in the regular season. Amherst (13-5-4, 8-3-3) is just above the Continentals in third place.
The Mammoths grabbed the lead 4:06 into the first period when Alex Toupal carried the puck up the left side and into the zone and backhanded a shot that beat Sam Walther '18 on her glove side.
The Continentals responded 2:40 later on a power-play goal by Olivia Hawes '19. Timary Malley '20 started with the puck at the top of the zone and dished it down to Kate Piacenza '21 in the corner. Piacenza fed the puck in front and it tipped off an Amherst stick and bounced to Jenna Jewell '19. Jewell sent the puck towards the net where it bounced off a defender and found the stick of Hawes who netted it for her fourth goal in the last five games and sixth this season.
There were no goals but plenty of opportunities in the second period. Six minutes into the second, Hawes took a point-blank shot from the slot that Mammoths goaltender Bailey Plaman turned away.
The Continentals claimed the lead 3:55 into the third period on an unassisted goal by Madie Bologa '21. Bologa carried the puck through the neutral zone and across the blue line, and took a slap shot from the slot that blew past Plaman for her third goal.
Toupal tied the score with her second of the day 1:55 later. Eliza Laycock dished the puck to Toupal and she carried it through the left circle before firing a shot up and over Walther's stick side.
The Continentals had a great opportunity with just over five minutes left in the third. Andrea Rockey '19 beat her defender and took the puck directly to the net but Plaman came up with a big save on the wrist shot.
Amherst had a 3-on-1 with 1:15 left but they fanned on the shot and a Hamilton defender was able to clear it away. The Continentals answered with a good opportunity with eight seconds remaining but the shot was blocked down by Plaman as the teams headed to sudden-victory overtime.
In the first seconds of 4-on-4, the Mammoths' Emma Flynn had a golden opportunity that Walther stopped as she came out of the crease and split to her stick side to make the save. Just 30 seconds later Walther made a diving save on Flynn to preserve the tie.
Amherst controlled the first half of overtime and kept the puck in the Continentals' defensive zone. Midway through the extra period, Piacenza collected the rubber and carried it out of the zone, allowing Hamilton the opportunity to change. Walther made another stellar save with 45 seconds left and Mairead Carey '18 blocked a shot with 10 seconds remaining.
It was clear by the score that two of the top goalies in the NESCAC faced off in today's game. Walther finished with 27 saves and leads the conference with a .960 save percentage. Amherst's Plaman, who made 20 saves, is second in the NESCAC with a .952 save percentage.
The Continentals will host Connecticut College on Friday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. at Sage Rink. The Camels currently sit in second place in the conference standings with a 9-2-3 record.
-- Release by Julia Booth '19