Men's Hockey Plays Strong Through Interterm, Now 11-3-2 on the Season
Issue   |   Tue, 01/27/2015 - 20:37
Rob Mattson
Theo Hannah '15 has three assists on the season for the Jeffs.

The men’s ice hockey team has started 2015 on a hot streak, losing one game in the new year. Following two ties after winter break, the Jeffs rattled off three victories in a row before falling to Connecticut College 6-4, but since then they have won their past two games and maintained their momentum.

Despite scoring four goals, Amherst was unable to top the Camels in their first meeting this year, back on Friday, Jan 16. First-year David White notched the first goal of the game, with assists from Brendan Burke ’16 and Mike Cashman ’15, but Conn. College responded just over a minute later to tie it up just before the end of the first. The second period was quiet, until Conor Brown ’16 broke away from the defenders to notch a short-handed goal, the only goal of the period, giving the Jeffs a 2-1 advantage.

Both offenses exploded in the third period. The Camels rattled off two goals in the first two minutes of the frame, but after some penalties on both sides it was the Jeff power play that tied it up, with a goal from Burke off of assists from Thomas Lindstrom ’18 and Aaron Deutsch ’15. Despite this important goal, it was once again all Conn. College as they went on a three-goal streak to put Amherst away. Andrew Fenwick ’15 recorded a late goal off an Austin Ho ’17 pass, but the lead was too much to surmount. The Camels held a slight edge on the shot totals 27-26, and also had one more power play opportunity in this tight matchup.

Amherst’s next game was again held at Orr Rink, this time versus Tufts. It was White again with the first score of the contest thanks to great passing from Brown and senior captain Jake Turrin. This goal gave the Jeffs a 1-0 lead heading into the second. The first half of the middle period was quiet, aside from penalties for both sides, but at 10:22 it was Tufts who sparked some life and tied the game up. Amherst responded quickly with a goal from Lindstrom, with the assists credited to Burke and Mike Rowbotham ’15. Tufts wasn’t done yet, though, as they managed to tie the game up once again two and a half minutes later, to send the game into the final frame at a 2-2 tie.

The game remained tied for the next 19 1/2 minutes. The Jeffs never quit, and it was White with his second goal of the game, assisted by Deutsch and Kevin Ryder ’16, that sent Amherst into the winner’s circle. Danny Vitale ’15, the NESCAC player of the week back on Jan. 5, recorded 30 saves in the outing.

Amherst’s most recent matchup was on Friday, Jan. 23 against Hamilton College and proved to be another tightly contested game. Dan Merenich ’15 opened up the scoring towards the end of the first with a goal coming off of assists from Fenwick and Xavier Louis Reed ’16. The second period was equally competitive, until with 22 seconds remaining Rowbotham found the back of the net to give Amherst a 2-0 lead heading into the final period. Hamilton didn’t quit, and they managed to get on the scoreboard a bit over halfway into the third, but it was not enough to overcome the Jeffs’ strong defense. Burke recorded the insurance empty-netter to continue his solid point streak. Vitale recorded 24 saves in another solid outing.

Amherst will continue their home stand this Friday against Trinity, the top team in the NESCAC at the moment. Amherst is 7-3-0 in-conference and 11-3-2 on the season, and will look to continue to build on its solid start to the year.