Nov. 27, 2010

 

Courtesy of RIT Athletics

ROCHESTER, NY -
Freshman goaltender Laura Chamberlain (Norco, CA/LA Selects) stopped all 40 shots she faced, as the No. 3 RIT women's hockey team (9-0-0) shut-out No. 1 Amherst (2-1-0), 2-0 in battle of national powers at Ritter Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Chamberlain was nothing short of spectacular for the Tigers, who improve to 8-2-1 all-time against the Lord Jeffs. She stopped 17 shots in the first period, 11 in the second, and 12 in the third frame. Her best save came with 12:01 left in regulation, as she stuck her left arm out to rob Braidie Campbell at the top of the crease after a rebound. Chamberlain was named the game's first star.

This season, Chamberlain is now 7-0-0 with a 0.57 goals against average and .969 save percentage. She is a big reason why the Tigers have allowed just seven goals in nine games.

Erin Zach (Elmira, Ontario/Cambridge Fury) and Katie Stack (Batavia, NY/Rochester Edge) scored second period goals for RIT. Kourtney Kunichika (Fullerton, CA/LA Selects) tallied two assists. Ariane Yokoyama (Van Nuys, CA/LA Selects) and Melissa Bromley (Aurora, Ontario/Aurora Panthers) also had assists for RIT.

Both teams were 0-for-5 with the man-advantage.

Amherst out-shot RIT 40-33. Caroline Hu made 31 saves and was sharp in goal for the Lord Jeffs.

RIT Head Coach Scott McDonald was very pleased with his team's effort.

"Laura (Chamberlain) was the difference, as we shut down a very good offense," said McDonald, who has 90 wins in his fifth year at RIT. "Every player competed hard, kept it simple, did nothing fancy, and that's what he had to do to get the job done. We know Amherst will come out even harder tomorrow."

Zach gave RIT the 1-0 lead 2:03 into the second period, as she converted on a nifty, three-way passing play for seventh goal of the season. Yokoyama fed Kunichika behind the Amherst net, who quickly fed Zach who was all alone in front. Hu got a piece of the shot, but it trickled off the left post and just over the goal-line.

Stack pushed the RIT lead to two goals at the 12:58 mark on a delayed penalty. Kunichika fed Bromley at the right point. Bromley's shot was stopped by Hu, but the rebound bounced to the right of the crease, where Stack was there to pounce on the loose puck and lift it in for her seventh goal of the year.

RIT had several other chances to make it 3-0 later in the period, but could not convert. Kolbee McCrea (Wawa, Ontario/Burlington Barracudas) took a pass from Sarah Dagg (St. George, Ontario/Hamilton Hawks) on the rush, and beat a sliding Hu between the legs, but the puck skittered wide.

The Tigers bombarded the Amherst net with 19 shots in the second.

Both goalies stole the show in the first period, as Amherst held a 17-7 edge in shots, primarily due to a strong power-play. Chamberlain was tremendous, stopping nine shots during an Amherst power-play later in the period. Her best save came on Megan Curry with 5:45 left. Curry was all alone in front, and Chamberlain made a big arm save to keep the game scoreless. Thirty seconds earlier, she robbed Stephanie Clegg from in tight.

Hu was also sharp, sliding across to rob Kim Schlattman (Stratford, Ontario/Cambridge Fury) on a perfectly-executed 2-on-1 break midway through the period. Hu then denied Stack from point blank range, after Hiller sent a pass from behind the net.

Amherst, the two-time defending national champions, turned up the forecheck in the final period, hemming the Tigers in their zone for extended sequences, but the defense and Chamberlain held firm in recording the shutout, RIT's fifth of the 2010-11 season.

The last time the Tigers defeated a No. 1 team was on Jan. 23, 2009, when they beat SUNY Plattsburgh, 2-1, in overtime.

The two teams meet once again on Sunday, this time at 1 p.m.