|Jeffs Edged By No. 9 New England College, 7-5|
Jeffs Drops Close Bout to No. 9 New England College, 7-5
By Ryan O'Donnell '08
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s hockey team lost a hard-fought game to visiting ECAC East rival and ninth-ranked New England College on Friday night 7-5. With the lost, Amherst dropped to 12-8-1 overall and 9-6-1 in conference play while the Pilgrims improved to 15-5-2 (9-5-2 ECAC East.)
New England controlled the first period and opened the scoring when sophomore forward Mike Mullen (Pittsburgh, PA) notched the first of his three goals making a nifty move and firing home a wrister with linemate Jeremy Koning (Chatham, ON) collecting the assist. Mullen struck again this time on the power-play from Koning and Greg Tam (Willow Heights, IL) sending the Pilgrims to the locker room up two.
The Pilgrims pushed their lead to three when senior forward Rashaun Ewing (Shaker Heights, OH) scored short handed from Joe Loiselle (Chepechet, RI). Amherst finally lit the lamp on the power-play after rookie defenseman Shane Lennox N. Vancouver, BC) and junior forward Sean Ellis (Springfield, MA) exchanged a few passes before Lennox sent one towards the net where sophomore forward Greg Adamo (Manalapan, NJ) was crafty enough to deflect one by New England goaltender Scott Gray (Pickering, ON) for his seventh score on the season. New England answered back three minutes later, again on the power-play, when senior forward Tor person (Fjaras, SW) poked home what appeared to be a covered puck by Amherst junior netminder Josh Fillman (Charlestown, MA), but the goal was allowed sending multiple Amherst and New England players into physical scuffles behind the net resulting in four players being sent to the box. New England took a commanding 5-1 lead when senior forward RA Mobile (Algonquin, IL) connected a one timer from rookie forward Brian Shea (Bow, NH) and sophomore defenseman Joe Garofolo (Concord, NH). Controversy struck again when Amherst sophomore forward Andrew Schremp (Denver, CO) appeared to score but the goal was disallowed when New England’s goalie knocked the goal loose just before the puck crossed the goal line. Amherst eventually got one back with just over a minute remaining when sophomore forward Kyle Schoppel (Cambridge, ON) slide home a one-timer from the left circle off feeds from sophomore defenseman Mike McIntosh (Soldotna, AK) and rookie defenseman Rylan Burns (Mill Bay, BC).
Amherst clawed its way back into the game when Ellis finished on a gorgeous one-timer into from Adamo and rookie defenseman Jeff Landers (Hanover, MA). Mullen completed his hat trick on the power-play from Koning and Tam to give the Pilgrims a comfortable three-goal cushion with just 11 minutes to play. The Jeffs again proved their perseverance and by whom better than senior captain Jack Greeley (Scituate, MA) who followed up an excellent individual effort by rookie forward Brendan Powers (Walpole, MA) to score shorthanded. Amherst got within a goal when Schoppel fired home his team leading tenth of the season on the power-play from Adamo and Ellis. That was as close as Amherst would get as New England’s Brandon Fackey (Hamilton, OH) scored with five minutes left from Anders Lusth (Sandniken, Sweeden).
Fillman made 29 saves while Gray stopped 31 attempts.
The Jeffs return to action tomorrow (Saturday) at 3 p.m. when seniors Jack Greeley (Scituate, MA) A.J. Greco (Williamsville, NY) Rob Balanda (Wellesley Hills, MA) and Steve Nelson (Wayzata,MN) step on the Orr Rink ice for their final regular season home game as they welcome visiting ECAC East foe St. Anselm College.
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