At 9-6-1, Men’s Hockey Looks to Improve Record
Issue   |   Wed, 01/29/2014 - 00:23

The men’s ice hockey team kept themselves busy over break, taking down Middlebury on Dec. 6, before falling in a tough 1-0 loss to archrival Williams at home the following day.

Following the new year, the Jeffs returned to action at the Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament in Norwich, VT. They managed to split their two games, with a 4-3 win over Plymouth State, and a 5-1 loss to Norwich University.

Over interterm, the Jeffs had a series of conference games. After a tough start with losses to Colby and Bowdoin, they rebounded with wins against Conn College and Tufts.

Against Colby the Jeffs jumped out to a 2-1 lead early in the first period thanks to goals from Andrew Fenwick ’15 and Brendan Burke ’16. However, Colby tied the score by the end of the first period and scored three goals in the second and third periods to earn the 5-2 victory.

Following the defeat, the Jeffs traveled to Bowdoin the next day and faced an equally tough challenge. In a game that seemed to have the ice tilted in the visitor’s direction, Amherst was unable to break through, largely in part to the Polar Bears’ stingy goalkeeping. Bowdoin goaltender Steve Messina finished with 36 saves, a determining factor in the win.

Aaron Deutsch ’15 scored the first goal of the game, and after Bowdoin tied it up in the second period, Andrew Kurlandski ’14 notched a power play goal off an assist from Mike Rowbotham ’15. Bowdoin tied it up again, and although Amherst outshot them 11-6 in the third, the Jeffs were unable to put Bowdoin away. A couple of short-handed goals midway through the third put the Polar Bears on top and gave them enough to finish out with a win.

The following week had better results in store for the Lord Jeffs on the ice. On Jan. 17th, the Jeffs traveled to Conn. College and managed to edge the Camels in a 4-2 victory.

Deutsch had three points in the form of a goal and two assists, while Theo Hannah ’16, Topher Flanagan ’16 and Rowbotham all contributed goals in the win. David Cunningham ’16 continued his solid play in net, racking up 25 saves on the night.

Amherst then turned around and went to Tufts the next day where they showed their grit and determination by overcoming a three-goal deficit to win the game. The Jumbos were up by three early in the second period thanks to a pair of goals from first-year Matt Pugh. The Jeffs’ comeback was initiated by a goal from defenseman Elliot Bostrom ’14, his first of the year. At the end of the second, with the game tied at a pair each, Burke snagged a power play goal at 58 seconds remaining, immediately followed by a goal from Fenwick, who slotted the puck home with just one second left on the clock. Despite three Amherst penalties in the third, the Jumbos were unable to get the puck past Cunningham. It was Flanagan who scored the final goal of the contest to give Amherst the 4-3 victory.

Despite not performing as well as they would’ve hoped on their nine-game road trip, the team has strong hopes for the rest of the year and continues to seek the excellent play they’ve come to expect from themselves.

“We have moments when we look like an elite team, and then we have moments when we make critical mistakes and give away opportunities to win games. This is something that we are still battling with and will have to fix in order to win the NESCAC championship. We are most certainly capable of winning every game we play for the rest of the year — we just need to go out and fight for it because its not going to be given to us,” said Bostrom.

This past weekend the Jeffs took to the air in order to play Concordia University in Wis. and Lake Forest College in Ill.
Following a tie against Concordia and a loss to Lake Forest, the Jeffs look to bounce back and gain some momentum for their important home stretch.

Next weekend, the Jeffs play two key NESCAC games at Trinity, the number one team in the conference, and at Wesleyan.
In the upcoming games, the Jeffs will also look to secure head coach Jack Arena’s 400th career victory.