Amherst Men’s Hockey Begins Season with Tie, Follow with Two Wins
Issue   |   Tue, 11/28/2017 - 22:22
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
Amherst has killed all 22 of their opponents’ power plays so far this season, while the Mammoths have already scored three power play goals.

The Amherst men’s hockey team has had a solid start to the 2017-18 season. After four games, the Mammoths boast an overall record of 2-1-1 and are feeling confident heading into two big NESCAC matchups this weekend.
“We’ve looked pretty good so far,” senior captain Patrick Mooney said. “We need to work on our consistency a little, but we definitely have the pieces to make some noise this year.”

Amherst started the season with a game against NESCAC rival Hamilton on Nov. 17. The Continentals are currently ranked eighth nationally, and they provided a good first test for the Mammoths. Hamilton got on the board first, as Jason Brochu tipped in a shot from Bennett Morrison in the sixth minute of the first period. However, Nick Bondra ’21 managed to tie things up before the end of the frame during an Amherst power play. Recording both his first collegiate goal and the Mammoths’ first tally of the season, Bondra redirected a slap shot from Phil Johansson ’19 into the top corner of the net.

Senior captain Thomas Lindstrom gave Amherst its first lead of the game early in the second period. Redirecting a shot from Bondra, Lindstrom tallied what looked to be the game winner, as the scored held at 2-1 for the remainder of the second and most of the third frames. Unfortunately, Cameron Radziwon managed to bury the equalizer for the Continentals with around five minutes left, forcing the game into overtime. After the extra five minutes had concluded, the score remained 2-2, and both teams walked away with one point.

The following week, Amherst took on St. Michael’s College, a 2017 Division III national finalist. The Purple Knights went up early, after Paul McAuliffe tipped in a shot from the point, and the Mammoths were unable to find an equalizer until the second period. Receiving a pass from senior David White, Patrick Daly ’20 ripped a shot past St. Michael’s Chris Johnson to tie up the score.

The score remained knotted at 1-1 until the final four minutes of the game. With 4:02 left to play, Joey Lupo ’20 slotted home a one-timer off of a pass from Lindstrom to put Amherst up by one. A goal from Johansson and second from Lupo in the final few minutes allowed the Mammoths to walk away with the 4-1 win.

This past weekend, Amherst played in the Binghamton Devils Tournament. The Mammoths faced Nichols College in the first round on Saturday and managed to eke out a 3-2 victory. Goals from AJ Klein ’20, Stanley Brenner ’19 and Daly gave Amherst a healthy three goal advantage midway through the second frame, but a goal from Scott Cuthrell late in the second period put the Bison back in the game. Filip Virgili was able to bring Nichols within one of the Mammoths early in the third period, but Amherst succeeded in holding the Bison at bay to secure a second straight win.

On Sunday, the Mammoths met State University of New York Cortland in the championship game of the weekend tournament. The Red Dragons got off to a quick start, notching two goals in the opening seven minutes of the game. After a scoreless second period, Amherst finally got on the board early in the third. Off an assist from Mark Esposito ’20, Johansson fired a shot past the Red Dragons’ net minder to cut Cortland’s lead in half.

Unfortunately, Johansson’s effort was not enough. Two goals from Scott Donahue, including an empty netter, allowed the Red Dragons to leave the ice with a 4-1 win and hand Amherst its first loss of the season.
The Mammoths return to action on Saturday, Dec. 2, when they will face Little Three rival Wesleyan at home at 7 p.m.