Sean Ellis '07
Sophomore goaltender A.J. Scola made his first start of the seaosn and recorded the shutout win.

Amherst Edges Fitchburg State, 1-0

December 9, 2006

AMHERST, MA- The Amherst College men's hockey team remains undefeated after a 1-0 win against visiting Fitchburg State College this evening. Amherst waited until the third period to get on the board, but eventually their high-powered offense found its stride.

Amherst dominated the first period from start to finish, but was unable to slide a goal past Falcons goaltender Devon McConnell (Lake Stevens, WA). The Lord Jeffs outshot Fitchburg 18-5 in the opening stanza, and had a number of near misses. There were a few particularly promising opportunities created during an Amherst power-play in which the Lord Jeffs held the puck in their offensive zone for all but 10 seconds of the two-minute penalty.

The pace of play picked up early in the second period when both teams had a man in the box, and a four-on-four situation opened up the ice. Amherst goaltender A.J. Scola (Holden, MA) made a great save on a Fitchburg breakaway, after one of his defenders was beaten one-on-one. With 11:30 left, Amherst forward Joel Covelli (Walpole, MA) pushed home an Amherst goal, only to have the referee call the score back for high-sticking.

With three minutes left in the second, sophomore Will Collins (Edina, MN) was set free on a breakaway, but his shot hit the post, preserving the scoreless tie. The clock ran out on the second period, and the teams headed to the locker room for intermission number two with the score locked at 0-0.

The first two minutes of the third period saw each team put high pressure on net, both times resulting in a forward barreling into the goalie, with neither one letting up a goal. With 14:47 left in regulation, Amherst finally got on the board when a long drive from the point was caught up in Michael McIntosh’s (Soldotna, AK) jersey before he calmly brought it down, and fed Brendan Powers (Walpole, MA) on the crease for the goal.

Junior defender Rob Stevenson (Newton, MA) made a heroic solo effort to maintain the Amherst lead with 3:30 left, when a Falcons shot was saved and popped up in the air over Scola’s head. The goaltender was unable to locate the puck, when Stevenson dove over Scola and the goal, catching the falling puck before it dropped in behind him.

Time wound down on the close-fought game, and Amherst squeaked out the 1-0 win. Amherst returns to the ice after their vacation when they travel to the Norwich Tournament on December 29, 2006.