|Amherst and Wesleyan to Meet in McCabe Championship|
Amherst and Wesleyan to Meet in McCabe Championship
November 25, 2006
AMHERST, MA – In day one of the Ben McCabe Invitational Tournament, host Amherst College and Wesleyan University each posted wins, advancing to tomorrow’s championship game, while Trinity College and Connecticut College will meet in the consolation game tomorrow.
The tournament’s opening game featured two NESCAC school’s meeting at host Amherst College’s Orr Rink, as the Trinity Bantams and Wesleyan Cardinal’s squared off for the first time this season.
The first period saw the Bantams commit three penalties in the first five minutes of action, with the Bantams dropping two-men down early. Wesleyan was unable to score on the 5-on-3 power play, but capitalized just minutes later, as first year Jeff Beck pounced on a loose puck in-front of the net. Classmate David Layne and senior co-captain Will Bennett were credited with the assists, as Wesleyan jumped out to an early 1-0 lead.
In the second period, play was back and forth until the final 3 minutes of the frame, when Trinity junior forward Daniel Maturi scored a power play goal; assists going to senior John Halverson and junior Ross Grubin. With the momentum in Trinity’s favor after the equalizer, first year Michael Mortimer was called for a crosschecking penalty, seemingly giving the Cardinals a break. On the ensuing power play, Trinity first year Matt Crum was set free on a breakaway, converting the short-handed opportunity, and giving Trinity its first lead of the game, 2-1.
The change in the line-up triggered an all out onslaught of Wesleyan scoring, as in only a seven minute span of game time, the Cardinals netted four goals, including the game winner, by junior Chris Graceffa. Junior Kevin Armstrong, David Layne and sophomore J.J. Evans all netted goals in the come-back effort.
With the 5-4 win, the Cardinals advance to face the winner of the Amherst College vs. Conn. College game.
The second game of day one featured the hosting team from Amherst College against the Camels of Connecticut College. Amherst jumped out of the gate, scoring on the first power play opportunity when sophomore defender Jeff Landers (Hanover, MA) hit a scorching slap shot from the blue line past Camels starting goalie, Matt Gluck. Amherst goalie Josh Fillman (Charlestown, MA) made a few great saves in the first period, including a sprawling save on a Conn. College 2-on-1 breakaway.
Amherst added a second power play goal in the first period when sophomore forward Kyle Schoppel (Cambridge, MA) converted a set-up from senior co-captain Sean Ellis (Springfield, MA) and Landers.
In the second period, the Camels created a few promising scoring opportunities, but were unable to slide anything by Fillman. Amherst stretched its lead to three goals when a nice combination of quick passes between first year Ted Vickers (Chillwack, B.C.) and sophomore Olufemi Amurawaiye (Whitby, ON) resulted in a Amurawaiye goal.
The final period of McCabe day one action saw the Lord Jeffs tack on a few more goals, as both Vickers and Ellis netted goals early in the period. Fillman maintained form in net, recording his first shutout of the young season, making 27 saves in the effort.
With two and a half minutes remaining in the game, Amherst senior Brandon Zangel (Highlands Ranch, CO) finished off a beautiful tick-tack passing sequence from Andrew Stevenson (Newton, MA) and Keith Nelson (Manalapan, NJ), for the Jeffs’ sixth goal of the game.
Refusing to let Zangel have the last word, sophomore Rylan Burns (Mill Bay, BC) netted the final Amherst goal with just 0:19 seconds showing on the clock, to give Amherst the 7-0 win.
With the blowout win, Amherst advances to tomorrow’s championship game to face Wesleyan University for the second time this season. Amherst won the first match-up in their season opener on November 11, 2006 by a score of 5-4. Start of tomorrow’s game is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. at Orr Rink, with Trinity facing Conn. College at 1:00 p.m. in the consolation game.
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