Men's Hockey Splits Weekend Tilt, Improves to 6-2
Issue   |   Wed, 12/10/2014 - 00:08

The Amherst men’s ice hockey team traveled to Middlebury last Friday to play the Panthers, who were 1-3-2 going into the game. It was a tight game for almost 60 minutes, but the Jeffs managed to pull away in the third and achieve a 5-3 victory over their fellow NESCAC competitor. They followed that road trip with another bus ride to Williamstown, where they played the Ephs on Saturday. An equally close game, it was archrival Williams who managed to edge ahead in the third and defeat Amherst 4-3, improving to 5-2-1 on the year.

The Middlebury game was scoreless for almost the first 10 minutes, but Austin Ho ’17 was able to find the back of the net for his first goal of the year off of a pass from senior Andrew Fenwick. Just three minutes later, Amherst kept up the pressure by capitalizing on a Middlebury tripping penalty. Mike Rowbotham ’15 scored the powerplay goal that put the Jeffs up 2-0, with assists from Conor Brown ’16 and Jake Turrin ’15. The Panthers rallied minutes alter though, as they were able to get on the board when Mark McLellan squeezed a shot by sophomore net minder Dave Cunningham.

The second period started off with some offense, as Middlebury scored within the first minute that the Zamboni had left the ice. Amherst’s Rowbotham answered just 14 seconds later, though as the Jeffs went right down and scored to regain the lead. Minutes later though, it was Middlebury again scoring to tie the game up at 3.

Much of the third was scoreless, but Keenan Hodgson ’18 scored the game-winning goal 14:26 in, with the assists going to Rowbotham and Brown. Amherst went down a man with a tripping call on Brown with 38 seconds remaining, but it was Fenwick who managed to make play and not only kill off the penalty, but score an shorthanded-empty-net goal for the Jeffs’ fifth score.

Most of the first period against Williams was scoreless, but Amherst’s powerplay unit found the back of the net with five minutes remaining in the period when David White ’18 scored off of passing from Fenwick and Brown. The Eph powerplay unit also had some success just a few minutes later, and they tied it at one just before going into the break.

Williams came out hot scoring their second goal 1:18 into the frame. The next eight minutes were scoreless, but Patrick Arena ’16 found the back of the cage to tie the game. The Ephs took the lead again three minutes later.

Down much of the third, the Jeffs kept fighting, and eventually it was Brown to tie it up with a beautiful score, his fifth of the year. Williams’ powerplay continued to be efficient, though, as they scored their second man-up goal of the afternoon to take the lead 4-3, which ultimately was enough to win the game. Cunningham finished the game with 22 saves, following a 29-save performance the night before.

“It wasn’t our best weekend. We lacked our usual energy and intensity, but were fortunate enough to get a win up at Middlebury. Mike Rowbotham was excellent again and Kevin Ryder played strong defensively,” said Coach Jack Arena. “On Saturday, we didn’t get off to a very good start and although the score was tied after the first period, we were outplayed. The last two periods were better, but we lacked our usual ‘jump’ and they’re as talented as any team in NESCAC and are hard to beat without your best effort. Our start has been good, but I think we have a lot of growth ahead of us.”

This was the Jeffs final weekend of play before heading into the break, and they will kick off the New Year on Jan. 2nd at a tournament at Plattsburgh State.