MALDEN, Mass. - The No. 11/12 Amherst College men's hockey team scored twice in the second and once in the third to secure a 3-1 victory over NESCAC foe Tufts University on Saturday afternoon in Malden, Mass.
With the win, Amherst (16-4-2, 12-4-0 NESCAC) has now won two straight, and seven of its last eight heading into the final two regular season games. Tufts moves to 7-13-2 overall, 4-10-2 in league action.
After a scoreless first 20 minutes of play that saw Tufts out-shoot Amherst, 6-2, the Jeffs drew first blood at the 13:05 mark of the second stanza. Andrew Fenwick '15 notched his fourth goal of the season after receiving passes from Austin Ho '17 and Patrick Arena '16 to give the Purple & White a 1-0 lead.
Just 2:32 later Amherst went on the power play and capitalized on the man-advantage opportunity. Aaron Deutsch '15 drilled a bullet from the left point that found its way past Jumbos' goalie Ryan McConnell to set the score at 2-0 at the 15:37 mark. David White '18 and Topher Flanagan '16 assisted on the scoring strike.
After two periods of play, Tufts held a slim, 16-13 advantage in shots on target, but Jeffs' net-minder Danny Vitale '15 turned aside all 16 offerings to keep the shutout intact through 40 minutes of play.
Early in the third period, the Jumbos took advantage of their own exta-man opportunity, and at the 4:23 mark, Brian Brown netted his 12th goal of the campaign after receiving helpers from Sean Kavanagh and Brian Ouellette to pull Tufts to within one at 2-1.
The Purple & White responded at the 13:04 mark as Flanagan and White again connected for a pair of passes before Conor Brown '16 slotted the puck into the back of the net for his 10th goal of the season to extend the Amherst lead back to two goals at 3-1.
Vitale (9-3-2) earned the win with 21 saves, while McConnell (2-3-0) suffered the loss and made 20 stops.
Amherst owned a slight, 11-10 edge in shots in the second period, and a 10-6 advantage in the third en route to a 23-22 advantage for the contest.
Amherst returns to NESCAC play on Friday, Feb. 20 when it hosts Middlebury College at 7 p.m. and Williams College on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. at Orr Rink. Next weekend marks the final regular season contest of the 2014-15 season.