AMHERST, Mass. – Connor Girard '18 recorded 26 stops and Thomas Lindstrom '18 tallied the game-winner midway through the second period as the Amherst College men's ice hockey notched their first shut out of the season to defeat archrival Williams College, 1-0 Friday evening at Orr Rink.
With the win, Amherst improves to 13-6-3 on the year and to 8-6-3 in league play, while Williams falls to 13-7-3 on the year (10-4-3 NESCAC). Amherst returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 18 when they face off against Middlebury College at Orr Rink beginning at 3 p.m. The game marks the regular season finale and Senior Day for the Purple & White.
Testing Amherst goalkeeper Girard 7:25 into the opening period, C. J. Shugart blasted a shot on net from the high slot. Making the clutch stop for the Purple & White, Girard recorded the glove save on the shot, and stonewalled Marcus Mollica's attempt on the rebound to keep the contest scoreless.
The Purple & White's best chance of the first stanza came with 3:36 remaining as Phil Johansson '19 connected with Jack Fitzgerald '19 on a blueline to blueline pass to give Fitzgerald a clear path to net. Sprinting into the zone on a breakaway, Fitzgerald rifled a snap shot from the right hash on target, but the attempt rang off the near post.
Williams nearly took a one-goal edge 6:30 into the second period, as Colby Cretella sent a wrist shot on frame from just inside the right circle. Girard came up with the initial stop and the Ephs argued that the puck crossed the goal line before the netminder could smother the rebound, however it was ruled no goal.
Johansson set up an Amherst forward with a breakaway once again at the 7:22 mark, sending a leading pass to White. Streaking towards goal, White deked to his backhand and powered an attempt on frame, but Michael Pinios came up with the athletic glove save.
Breaking the 0-0 deadlock with 9:34 on the clock, Lindstrom netted his team-leading 12th goal of the season to give the Purple & White a 1-0 edge. Stepping out of the penalty box, Steven Mallory '19 collected a dish from David White '18 a raced into the offensive zone on a 2-v-2.
Buying some time at the blue line, Malloy sent a perfectly placed pass to Lindstrom near the right dot who ripped a wrist shot over the shoulder of Pinios, blocker side.
The Ephs held an 8-5 advantage in shots on frame in the final period of action, but they were unable to find the back of the net as Amherst sealed the 1-0 victory.
James McNamara made Williams' final bid to even the score with five seconds remaining in the game, blasting a slap shot towards goal from the left point, however the attempt deflected off an Amherst defender and found its way into the corner as the final buzzer sounded.
- In goal, Girard (8-6-3) made 26 stops for the Purple & White to earn the win, while Pinios (8-6-3) registered 23 saves for Williams in the losing effort.
- Amherst outshot the Ephs 15-8 in the second period, however Williams owned a slight 26-24 edge in shot differential.
- Neither team saw success on the power play, with both sides finishing 0-for-2.