Men’s Hockey Impresses During Four Game Unbeaten Run to Start Season
Issue   |   Tue, 11/29/2016 - 23:09
Amherst Athletics
Austin Ho ’17 has added two points for the Amherst offense this season.

In the past 10 days, 20th-ranked Amherst men’s hockey team has surged to a record of 3-0-1. They are coming off of a turbulent season last year, which saw some major upsets, including a serendipitous NESCAC tournament run in which Amherst eventually fell to Trinity in the championship game.

The purple and white opened up the 2016-2017 season in dramatic fashion against Hamilton. They finished with a 1-1 tie after two exhausting overtimes that tested the Amherst defense.

Although they were outshot 22-11, junior goalkeeper Connor Girard had an outstanding 35-save performance. First-year Patrick Daly made a big impact in his collegiate debut, registering the first and only goal of the game to keep the purple and white from defeat.

Just four days later, Amherst put up a dominant performance against St. Michaels in a tough week of travel. They defeated the Purple Knights 5-1, with goals coming from Thomas Lindstrom ’18, Patrick Daly ’20 and Jack Fitzgerald ’19.

Amherst would continue their high scoring streak against a Utica team considered to be one of the best in the country. In a thrilling comeback victory, it took six different goal-scorers to complete the courageous team effort.

Stanley Brenner ’19 scored first to take an early lead, followed by Greg Krisberg ’20 to finish the first period ahead of the Pioneers 2-1. Unfortunately, shortly after Brenner’s goal, he had to come off the ice with a dislocated knee. The forward will be out for several weeks, but looks to return for what looks to be a successful season.

Daly continued to impress during the second period tied at 3-3, until Utica fired back in the third to make it 5-3.
Although the outcome seemed bleak, a late goal by P.J. Conlon ’20 sparked the purple and white. Just 39 seconds later, Amherst kept their hopes alive with a goal by Will Vosejpka ’18 to send the game to overtime.

Although Krisberg would get two minutes in the penalty box for holding, the purple and white held on and eventually completed their performance with a goal from Noah Gilreath ’20.

Amherst concluded its first stretch of games with a strong performance at home against Babson. Facing yet another top 10 team, Amherst seemed undaunted by the task at hand. After a back-and-forth first period, the team opened up scoring in the second frame with a beautiful spin move and shot by Phil Johansson ’19.

It was all purple and white from then on as Thomas Lindstrom ’17 responded with a tip right in front of the goal to double the lead. Next came Austin Ho ’17, who forced a turnover in the defensive end and danced around several defenders before he placed his own shot in the back of the net.

Babson fought hard in the last period in an attempt to equalize the score, but Amherst’s defense proved to be impenetrable after letting up just one goal in the third. Will Vosejpka ’18 put the game away with a long shot on an empty net, and an exclamation point on a fantastic week of competition.

“We are looking really good right now,” Brenner said. “It’s going to be an exciting year if we keep doing what we are doing.” Amherst will look to utilize its balanced squad of veterans and young talent as they move forward this season in a competetive NESCAC conference.

The purple and white hope to continue their four-game unbeaten run when they travel to Wesleyan on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.