Andrew Stevenson '10
Amherst goal tender Josh Fillman played solid in net for Amherst for the win.

Amherst Downs #13 Skidmore College 8-2

January 19, 2007

By Alex Kantor

AMHERST, MA – The 14th-ranked Amherst College men’s ice hockey team downed the visiting Thoroughbreds of Skidmore College this evening at Orr Rink by a score of 8-2 in Amherst, MA.

The much anticipated match-up between the nation’s 13th and 14th Division III teams got off to a blistering pace, as both teams seemed poised to push the puck up the ice fast and catch their opposition off-guard early. The transition-type game led to the game’s first score just 1:46 into the first period, when Amherst first year Ted Vickers (Chilliwack, BC) knocked home a bouncing puck off a a pass from classmate Jack Baer (Edina, MN).

Midway through the first period, Amherst was put into a tough position when two of its players were sent to the penalty box for slashing infractions.  Some fast feet and strong puck handling by forwards Will Collins (Edina, MN) and Greg Adamo (Manalapan, NJ) helped Amherst kill off the penalty by holding the puck shorthanded in their offensive zone.

The Skidmore team did not let the early Lord Jeff goal slow down its speedy attack, as the Thoroughbreds continued their high-pressure fore-check and attack. The relentless Skidmore effort was rewarded when Amherst senior captain Sean Ellis (Springfield, MA) was whistled for hitting from behind. On the ensuing power-play, Skidmore wasted no time moving the puck around the offensive zone, methodically setting up a slap shot from sophomore Steve Keady. The low hard shot found its way through traffic and beat Amherst goal tender Josh Fillman (Charlestown, MA) five-hole.

Amherst took the lead 2-1 just two minutes after the Skidmore tally, when junior defender Griffin Biedron (Lake Worth, FL) scored his first career goal on a beautiful wrap-around effort, beating Skidmore goaltender DJ Delbuono to the far post. The last four minutes of the opening frame included a number of promising scoring chances for both teams, but neither team would capitalize, as Amherst took a one-goal lead to the locker room.

Early in the second period, Amherst extended its lead to two goals when Biedron created an easy opportunity for sophomore Olufemi Amurawaiye (Whitby, ON), who calmly slotted the puck past Delbuono. Biedron snatched the puck out of the air behind the net with his hand and pulled it in front of the Skidmore crease, where Amurawaiye punched home the goal.

Skidmore refused to go away, scoring just two minutes later on a power-play chance for the second time of the game. Sophomore Teddy Gowan scored Skidmore’s second goal of the night off assists from senior co-captain Rob Hutchison and first-year Matt Czerkowicz.

From that point on, the second period was all Amherst, as the Lord Jeffs pumped in two more goals to take a 5-2 advantage. The fourth Amherst goal came with about seven minutes remaining in the frame, by way of Ellis this time. Junior transfer Joel Covelli (Carlisle, ON) found Ellis on the crease, where the captain flicked the puck into the air and batted it home for another power play goal. The fifth goal of the night for Amherst was netted with just 2:10 left in the period, scored this time by Adamo on a breakaway, beating Delbuono between his legs.

The third period provided the Amherst fans with a little bit more of the same, as the team scored a short-handed goal in the first minute of the period, and added a seventh goal before the midway point of the final period. The sixth goal of the game brought the end of the night for Delbuono, as first-year Jimmy Santacroce entered the game to close out the game for the Thoroughbreds.

Amherst junior goal tender AJ Scola (Holden, MA) was brought in for Fillman after the Lord Jeffs took a five-goal lead and made a number of impressive saves early on, including one remarkable stop with his leg while rolling onto his back.

With six minutes left, Skidmore senior forward Scott Schaub put heavy pressure on the Amherst net, but Scola was up to the test, making a nice glove save before the net was knocked off the line.

As time rolled off the clock, Amherst sealed the win with another goal, as senior Trevor Calamel (Lockport, NY) scored his first of the night. The match-up of two of the nation’s top 15 teams proved to be as high-powered as anticipated, but more one-sided than Skidmore fans would have hoped for.

Amherst returns to the ice tomorrow night when the Jeffs face the visiting Spartans of Castleton State College at Orr Rink for a 3 p.m. start.