Freshman Emily Vitale lifted the No. 7-ranked Amherst College Jeffs to a 2-1 victory over the St. Thomas women’s hockey team Thursday night in Mendota Heights.
Coach Tom Palkowski said he anticipated a good game from Amherst.
“I know they are a very good team, and their coach plays a good disciplined good brand of hockey,” Palkowski said.
The Jeffs showed discipline even when they were behind after St. Thomas senior captain Meghan Parker’s power-play goal from the blue line just 4:53 into the second period.
“We had traffic in front, and their goalie couldn’t see it so getting it through was the main thing,” Parker said. “We had momentum after the goal.”
The Tommies’ lead did not last long. Amherst freshman Tori Salmon scored seconds after its player came out of the penalty box and kept the score tied going into the third period.
Amherst skated strong in the third and took the lead after Vitale scored a backhanded top-corner goal halfway into the period to make the score 2-1, and it stayed like that the rest of the game.
Junior Korrinne O’Connor said after the second goal she talked with her linemates Jenny Saxton and freshman Morgan Olson.
“We knew we had to bare down and put the puck in the net,” O’Connor said. “They had a really good goalie so we tried to get the equalizer right away, but it just didn’t happen.”
Palkowski said his team can learn from the game.
“It was a good measuring stick, playing one of the top teams in the country,” Palkowski said. “We played well, but again, when you play good teams and you make a mistake, they cash it in and games over. As well as we played, it is disappointing to fall short again.”
He said the upcoming games are more important.
“We need to start to pick up the W’s. As nice as it would have been to pick this one up, I’ll take the two this weekend,” Palkowski said.
The Tommies play St. Mary’s in Winona Saturday and at home on Sunday.
Hannah Anderson can be reached at email@example.com