Men’s Hockey Splits Two Tough Games Against NESCAC Opponents
Issue   |   Tue, 02/09/2016 - 23:42
Amherst Athletics
Building on his strong first-year season, forward David White ‘18 is powering the purple and white’s offense with his team-leading 11 assists in 20 games.

The 5-6-3 in conference men’s hockey team was faced with two battles against NESCAC rivals Bowdoin and Colby this weekend. Both games were tight, with each game decided late while the losing side had its goalie pulled. Bowdoin managed to earn the win Friday night, but Amherst conquered Colby the next afternoon.
Bowdoin struck first in what would end a 3-1 game with a bar-down shot at the end of the first period. The second stanza opened with penalties on both sides. Amherst controlled the play during two successive power plays; the second man advantage allowed Thomas Lindstrom ’18 to put away senior Conor Brown’s rebound and tie the game.

Bowdoin did not back down, however, and used the crucial post-goal shift to draw a penalty. Only three seconds into this power play, Bowdoin’s Spencer Atunez regained the lead. The purple and white worked for goal-scoring chances, but their efforts did not pay off, even when sophomore Patrick Mooney’s shot slid past the Bowdoin goaltender and spun to a stop inches from crossing the goal line. The third period also saw exciting chances for Amherst, including a 5-on-3 man-advantage that materialized when the Polar Bears were called for a penalty and then was whistled for a too-many-men infraction. Unfortunately, Amherst was unable to capitalize on this opportunity, shooting too many pucks straight at Bowdoin goalie Peter Cronin, resulting in easy saves.

With a tying goal continuing to elude the purple and white, Amherst head coach Jack Arena pulled goalie Connor Girard ’18 following the end of the penalty. Again, Amherst fought hard but failed to put away the equalizer. The game ended with an open-net insurance goal by Bowdoin’s Matthew Lison.
The hosting Amherst team had more luck against Colby and skated to a 2-1 win on Saturday afternoon.
The teams were evenly matched through the first period, with each posting eight shots on net and finishing the first twenty minutes in a 1-1 draw. Just six minutes into the game, Amherst’s consistently productive line came through again when Will Vosejpka ’18 put away a Lindstrom pass with a quick backhand shot past Colby’s Verrier.

The Mules responded a few minutes later and entered the second period hopeful. These hopes were dashed, however, by first-year Max Roche’s first career goal at the 14-minute mark. This tally, assisted by Kevin Ryder ’16, would turn out to be the game-winner. The last stanza of the game, however, went back-and-forth while the Mules pushed for a tying goal. The most notable of these occurred right after the final buzzer sounded, when Colby’s Kai Frankville, buoyed by the Mules’ sixth player on the ice (in exchange for their pulled goalie), knocked the puck into the Amherst net. The referees reviewed the play and ultimately disallowed the goal, sealing the 2-1 win for the purple and white.

The team will play another two home games this coming weekend against two more NESCAC rivals. First, they play Tufts at Orr Rink on Saturday, Feb. 13. Then, Amherst hosts Connecticut College on Sunday, Feb. 14. The purple and white will hope to use the home-ice advantage and their league standing above both teams to maintain their winning record at Orr Rink.