Men’s Hockey Snaps Three Game Losing Streak, Defeats Connecticut College
Issue   |   Tue, 02/14/2017 - 22:01
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Sophomore defender Phil Johansson has contributed 10 total points to the purple and white offense this season with three goals and seven total assists.

The Amherst men’s hockey team split this weekend’s conference matchups, falling to Tufts and pulling off a 4-0 win against the Camels of Connecticut College to solidify the purple and white as the sixth-ranked team in the NESCAC.
Amherst started its weekend on the road in Medford, Massachusetts, facing Tufts on Friday, Feb. 10.

The purple and white were off to a strong start, with a quick attempt on goal by David White ’18 just two minutes into the first period. Unfortunately, the low, hard shot on frame was deflected by the Camel goalie, his first of 27 saves for the Jumbos.

The remainder of the first period was scoreless, as both teams struggled to capitalize on power plays. Tufts managed to take control after the break, however, finding the back of the net just 11 seconds into the second period. The purple and white clung on until halfway through the third period when, with twelve minutes left to play, the Jumbos logged three goals in under three minutes to set the score at 4-0.

Connor Girard ’18 made 21 stops for the purple and white for the first 50 minutes of the game, before senior Adam Ellison came in for relief to save the final five goals.

The next day, the purple and white traveled to Conn. College to end their three-game losing streak on the road.

The Camels tried to gain the advantage early, as they looked to capitalize on a 3 vs. 2 situation just four minutes into the first period. The shot from the left dot and the rebound by the Camels were both stonewalled by Girard, allowing Patrick Daly ’20 to net the first score of the game five minutes later for his 11th goal of the season.

The first-year has impressed this season for the purple and white. Daly has 11 goals on the season, the most among a very talented Amherst offense. With his nine assists, Daly has chipped in for 20 goals total.

Rebounding a blocked shot, Daly fired of a high shot that, although initially gloved down by the Camel goalie, managed to sneak over the goal line to put Amherst up 1-0. The second period brought a wave of pressure from the Camels as they tied up the game with just over a minute remaining.

Entering the third period with the game knotted at one, sophomore Max Roche netted the game-winner right through the legs of the Camel goalkeeper for his first score of the season.

Girard’s 22-save performance makes him 7-6-3 on the season, with an impressive 368 saves on the year. Girard’s outstanding performance thus far has made him a contender for the Joe Concannon Award.

The prize, for which Girard was recently named a semifinalist, honors the best American-born college hockey player in New England. The 26 NCAA Division II and III semifinalists span five conferences. Girard is one of only four goalies being considered for the award, and would be the first purple and white skater to take home the award since Jeff Landers ’09 in 2009.

By splitting the weekend, Amherst improves to 12-6-3 on the season and 7-6-3 in league play. This record is enough to qualify the purple and white for NESCAC post-season play, as they are currently ranked sixth in the conference.
Amherst returns to Orr Rink on Friday, Feb. 17 when they host archrival Williams for a 7 p.m. conference battle. The purple and white have not claimed a victory against the Ephs yet this year, though have come close, falling to the top ranked NESCAC team 4-3 in December.

The next day, Feb. 18, the team will face Middlebury at home to conclude their regular season with a 3 p.m. matchup.
The purple and white have the opportunity to add to their win total facing the Panthers, who currently sit at the bottom of the NESCAC rankings with a record of (3-13-0). Amherst took on Middlebury at home earlier this season, where they earned a 4-1 victory.