Five-Goal Third Period Lifts Conn. College Past Jeffs, 6-4

Five-Goal Third Period Lifts Conn. College Past Jeffs, 6-4

AMHERST, Mass. – Four different players lit the lamp for No. 10/11 Amherst College, but Conn. College used a five-goal third period to erase a 2-1 deficit after two frames and highlight a 6-4 victory for the Camels in Friday evening's NESCAC men's hockey game at Orr Rink.

With the loss, Amherst suffers its first home defeat of the season and moves to 9-3-2 overall, 5-3-0 in NESCAC play. Conn. College improves to 6-5-2 overall, 3-3-1 in league action. The Purple & White is currently ranked 10th in the latest Top 15 Poll, and 11th in the latest Top 15 Poll.

In the first period, Conn. College held a slim, 11-10 edge in shots on goal that saw both goaltenders provide excellent saves to stave off quality scoring opportunities. Amherst dealt the first salvo as first-year forward David White registered his sixth goal of the year late in the opening frame (18:17) on assists from Brendan Burke '16 and Mike Cashman '15. The lead was short-lived as Mike Doyle fired a shot past Jeffs' goalie Dave Cunningham '16 for his first of the year with just two seconds left in the period to even the score at 1-1. Cory Swift and Sebastian Meltzer assisted on the Camels' tying goal.

A short-handed goal by the Purple & White highlighted a back-and-forth second stanza. After Kevin Ryder '16 was called for an interference penalty at the 12:16 mark, senior co-captain Jake Turrin forced a Conn. College turnover in the neutral zone and hurried a pass ahead to Conor Brown '16 breaking down the left wing and he blasted his seventh goal of the campaign past Camels' net-minder Tom Conlin to give the Jeffs a 2-1 edge at the 13:02 mark.

In the third period Conn. College stemmed the tide when Tim DiPretoro scored 53 seconds into the session on an assist from Joe Birmingham to knot the game at 2-2. Just a minute later, the Camels took their first lead of the contest when Ryan Mowery notched his first goal of the season with Joe Giordano and Brian Belisle providing the helpers on the play to give the visitors a 3-2 lead.

Taking advantage of a Greg Liautaud elbowing penalty, Amherst took advantage of the extra man opportunity as Burke scored his second of the season at the 6:47 mark to even the game at 3-3. Thomas Lindstrom '18 and Aaron Deutsch '15 assisted on the goal. Conn. College was quick to answer under a minute later when Meltzer connected for his third of the year at the 7:39 mark to give the Camels a 4-3 edge following a feed from Giordano.

With four minutes left in regulation Mowery netted his second of the contest which proved to be the game-winner. Fifty-eight seconds later, Liautaud extended the advantage to 6-3 with his third scoring strike of the season – this one on the power play – after Marc Roper and JC Cangelosi delivered assists on the play.  

At the 17:22 mark, Andrew Fenwick '15 pulled one back for Amherst after Austin Ho '17 forwarded him a pass to set the score at 6-4, but it was not enough as Conn. College fought off a late 6-on-5 attack by the Jeffs to preserve the 6-4 win.

Conlin (5-4-2) made 22 saves in goal for the Camels, including nine in the opening period, while Cunningham made 21 saves in 52:49 of action, highlighted by 10 stops in the first 20 minutes. Danny Vitale '15 (2-2-2) entered in relief of Cunningham and allowed two goals, including Mowery's game-winner and suffered the loss in 5:58 between the pipes.

Amherst returns to action on Saturday, January 17 when it hosts Tufts University at 3:00 p.m. at Orr Rink.