No. 3 Mammoths Fall to No. 6 Colby, 5-1 in NESCAC Quarterfinals

No. 3 Mammoths Fall to No. 6 Colby, 5-1 in NESCAC Quarterfinals

AMHERST, Mass. – The Mammoths owned a 37-24 advantage in shot differential, however a three score second period by the Mules proved too much to overcome as the No. 3 seed Amherst College men's ice hockey team fell to No. 6 seed Colby College, 5-1 Saturday evening at Orr Rink.

With the loss, Amherst closes out the 2017-18 season with an 11-9-5 overall ledger, while Colby improves to 13-10-2 on the year and advances to play Wesleyan in a NESCAC Semifinal contest. 

Forcing a turnover just outside the Mammoth blue line while down a skater and earning a breakaway, Justin Grillo nearly got the Mules on the board with 10:37 on the clock, but his wrister was met with a glove save by Connor Girard '18.

Sean Lawrence returned the favor five minutes later for Colby, as he robbed David White's '18 one-timer from the slot with an athletic sliding save.

Giving the Mammoths a 1-0 lead with 2:44 to play in the opening period, Max Roche '19 tallied his third score of the winter on a dish from Phil Johansson '19. Collecting the puck in near the hash marks, Roche deked to his off hand before quickly moving to his forehand and sniping a shot over the glove of the Colby netminder. 

Notching three uncontested scores in the second stanza, the Mules took a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes of action behind two-goal performance by Mario Benicky.

Deadlocking the battle 1:57 into the period, Benicky powered a wrist shot into the nylon to set the score at 1-1.

Continuing to hold momentum, Colby found the back of the net twice in a 24 second span, with Michael Rudolf winning a faceoff on the left dot and ripping a shot, five-hole at the 6:18 mark and Benicky sending a breakaway wrister over the Amherst goalkeepers' glove with 5:54 on the clock. 

Capitalizing on an Amherst mishandle that saw him earn a free path towards goal, Phil Klitirinos logged his seventh score of the year with 7:48 to play in regulation as he rifled a wrist shot from the high slot through the legs of the Amherst goalie to extend the visitors' lead to 4-1.

Grillo posted the final dagger for the Mules, registering an empty net score with 1:29 to play to lift Colby to the 5-1 victory. 

GAME NOTES

  • In between the pipes, Girard (8-5-5) racked up 19 saves in the losing effort for Amherst, while Lawrence (12-7-2) made 36 stops for Colby in the win.
  • The Mammoths owned a 37-24 advantage in shot differential, including a 19-6 edge in the third period.
  • Neither side saw success on the power play, with both Amherst and Colby finishing 0-for-3.