Men’s Hockey Falls to Colby in NESCAC Tournament Despite Late Offensive Effort
Issue   |   Tue, 02/27/2018 - 21:04
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
Phil Johanssen ‘19 had the Mammoths’ only assist agianst Colby.

The Amherst men’s hockey team concluded its 2017-2018 season this weekend with a disappointing 5-1 loss to Colby in the NESCAC quarterfinals. As the No. 3 seed in the tournament, the Mammoths were favored to overcome the sixth-seeded Mules.

However, Colby came out firing and avenged the 5-1 loss they suffered at Amherst’s hands earlier in the month. With the win, the Mules advanced to a semifinal matchup next weekend against Wesleyan.

Max Roche ’19 tallied what ended up being Amherst’s only goal of the game in the final few minutes of the first period.

Receiving a pass from Phil Johnasson ’19, Roche deked his defender and ripped a shot past Colby’s Sean Lawrence.

Unfortunately, the Mammoths were unable to carry this initial lead beyond the first intermission.

Just two minutes into the second period, the Mules managed to tie the game on a goal from Mario Benicky.

Colby continued to create quality chances throughout the period, and the Mules were rewarded with two more goals before the second intermission.

With 6:18 remaining, Michael Rudolf went five-hole after winning a faceoff in Amherst’s defensive end, and only 24 seconds later, Benicky found himself on a breakaway and notched his second goal of the game.

Down by two with one period left to play, the Mammoths needed to shift the momentum of the game completely.

In the end, though, this proved to be too great a task.

Despite owning a 19-6 advantage in shots in the final period, Amherst struggled to capitalize and let up another goal as a result of a defensive blunder.

Colby’s Phil Klitirinos intercepted the puck and found himself one-on-one with the Mammoths’ goaltender.

He ripped a shot that snuck through the net minder’s legs to increase the visitors’ lead to three.

With two minutes remaining in regulation, Amherst pulled its goalie in order to go a man up for the final offensive push.

However, the Mammoths did not have a chance to create much, as Justin Grillo took advantage of the empty net and secured the 5-1 victory for the Mules.

The Mammoths concluded the season with a conference record of 8-5-6 and an overall record of 11-9-5.

“I don’t think our record reflects the talent that this team has,” junior forward Jack Fitzgerald said. “It’s undoubtedly disappointing to end the season this way, but I’m really proud of our guys and the effort we put forth. We will miss our seniors a lot next year, but we wish them the best and hope we can make them proud come next winter.”