Late Surge Not Enough as Amherst Falls to Hamilton, 3-2 in Season Opener

Late Surge Not Enough as Amherst Falls to Hamilton, 3-2 in Season Opener

CLINTON, N.Y. – A two-goal third period surge was not enough to overcome an early deficit as the Amherst College men's ice hockey fell to Hamilton College, 3-2 Friday evening at Sage Rink.

With the loss, Amherst opens the winter 0-1-0 overall, while Hamilton earns its first win of the year and improves to 1-0-0. Amherst returns to the ice on Tuesday, Nov. 20 when they travel to St. Michael's for a 4 p.m. non-conference bout.

The Continentals opened scoring at the 5:17 mark in the first stanza, as Sterling Bray slid a pass from the left faceoff dot to Jordi Jefferson down low before the first-year deked to his backhand and sent a shot into the nylon, five hole.

Doubling the home team's edge 2:13 into the second period, Rory Gagnon capitalized on assists from Jon Beniers and Sean Allen to give Hamilton a 2-0 cushion.

Battling back into the matchup midway through the final period, senior captain Phil Johansson tallied Amherst's first goal of the winter with a power play score at the 9:10 mark. Nick Bondra and P.J. Conlon were credited with the assists on the scoring play.

Regaining a two goal lead 5:50 later, Nick Ursitti potted what stood as the game-winner following a dish from Rory Gagnon.

Keeping things interesting down the stretch, the Mammoths responded 1:01 later, with Johansson burying a dish from A.J. Klein for his second marker of the game to bring the visitors back within one.

Despite holding a 7-0 advantage in shot attempts in the final four minutes, the Mammoths were unable to net the equalizer to force overtime as Hamilton hung on for the 3-2 victory.

In between the pipes, Giancarlo Ventre '20 (0-1-0) made 19 stops for the Mammoths in the losing effort, while Anthony Tirabassi (1-0-0) racked up 38 stops for Hamilton in the win.

Amherst owned a 40-23 advantage in shots in the contest and finished 1-for-7 up a skater, while Hamilton went 0-for-3 on the power play.