Brandon Zangel '07
Senior Brandon Zangel gave Amherst a 3-1 lead
in the first period with a power play goal

Amherst Falls to Norwich for First Loss of Season

December 30, 2006

NORTHFIELD, VT – The Amherst College men’s hockey team picked up its first loss of the season, falling 6-3 to Norwich University in the Times Argus Invitational championship game. Amherst pulled off a 5-4 upset against the Cadets in an ECAC match-up earlier in the season, but Norwich evened the season series in come-from-behind fashion.

Norwich got on the board first when Rico Piatelli found the back of the net six minutes into the opening period to give the Cadets a 1-0 lead. Less than five minutes later, the Lord Jeffs began a three-and-a-half minute scoring spree featuring goals by senior Trevor Calamel (Lockport, NY) and first-year Jack Baer (Edina, MN), followed by a power-play goal by senior Brandon Zangel (Highlands Ranch, CO).

Rather than allowing Amherst to take advantage of an early second-period power play opportunity, Norwich’s Eric Lauriault netted a shorthanded goal for the first of what would be five unanswered Cadet goals. Five Norwich players chipped in with a goal, with Lauriault finishing the day with two to lead his team to the tournament championship.

Senior goaltender Josh Fillman (Charlestown, MA) played a solid first period, recording 13 saves and preserving a 3-1 lead for Amherst. Although the Amherst offense failed to put anything together in the second frame, Fillman was able to keep his team in the game as the Jeffs headed into the third period notched up with the Cadets at 3-3.

The game remained tied until midway through the third period, when Lauriault scored his second shorthanded goal of the game to give the Cadets a 4-3 advantage with 10:30 remaining in regulation. Just over two minutes later, C.J. Viso picked up his first goal of the season to give Norwich a two-goal advantage. Less than two minutes later, Raphael Robitaille netted the final goal of the game, leaving Amherst less than seven minutes to make a comeback, but the Jeffs were unable to do so.

Fillman finished with 33 saves in a busy night, as Norwich out-shot Amherst 39-16. David Thompson recorded two saves for the Cadets in the first 12:52 of the game, with Chance Gieni picking up the win by recording 11 saves and shutting out the Amherst offense for the final two periods.

Sophomore Jeff Landers (Hanover, MA) and junior Kyle Schoppel (Cambridge, ON) were named to the All-Tournament Team; Landers picked up two assists against URI, while Schoppel picked up two goals against the Rams.

Amherst (6-1-1/3-0-1) returns to action Friday, Jan. 5 for an ECAC East match-up with Babson College at 7 p.m.