Jeffs Best Middlebury, 5-3

Jeffs Best Middlebury, 5-3

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Senior co-captain Mike Rowbotham netted a pair of goals and Keenan Hodgson '18 scored the game-winner with 5:34 left in the contest to help the Jeffs stake a 5-3 victory over NESCAC rival Middlebury College on Friday evening.

With the win, Amherst has now won five straight games and improves to 6-1-0 overall, 3-1-0 in NESCAC action. Middlebury slides to 1-2-2 on the season, 1-4-2 in conference play following the loss. 

With the score knotted at 3-3 following two periods of play, Amherst broke the stalemate with 5:34 remaining in regulation when Hodgson took advantage of the Jeffs' second power play opportunity of the contest. Rowbotham and Conor Brown '16 assisted on the visitor's second extra-man score of the game as the Purple & White was a perfect 2-for-2 on the power play. 

Trailing 4-3, Middlebury had a pair of power play opportunities to try and level the game, but Amherst goalie Dave Cunningham '16 was terrific between the pipes making five crucial saves, while Brendan McGovern had two shots blocked by the Jeffs' defense. 

On the Panthers' final man advantage opportunity and playing with an empty net with just 38 seconds on the clock, Middlebury turned the puck over and Andrew Fenwick '15 buried an insurance goal to set the final score at 5-3. Kevin Ryder '16 assisted on the goal. 

Amherst held a slim 33-32 edge in shots in the contest, including a 16-13 advantage in a back-and-forth second frame. Cunningham made 29 saves in the winning effort for the Purple & White, while Stephen Klein, who played 36:09, made 19 saves for Middlebury. Liam Moorfield-Yee played 22:29 and made nine stops. 

The Jeffs drew first blood when sophomore defenseman Austin Ho found the cage on an assist from Fenwick at the 9:40 mark of the first stanza. Just over three minutes later, Rowbotham scored the first of his two goals, this one on the power play, to set the score at 2-0 at the 12:56 mark following assists from Brown and co-captain Jake Turrin '15. 

The Panthers were quick to respond as Mark McLellan scored at the 14:09 mark to close out the scoring for the first period. Max Greenwald and Ronald Fishman provided assists on the score. 

With 26 seconds remaining in the first period, Middlebury went on the power play. The Panthers carried the man advantage into the second frame and Cunningham denied Fishman on a pair of blasts before Jake Charles was able to beat the goaltender to even the game at 2-2 with just 58 seconds played. Fishman and Greenwald assisted on the strike. 

Amherst regained its edge seconds later as Rowbotham deposited his second goal into the back of the net following a feed from Thomas Lindstrom '18 set the score at 3-2 just 1:12 into the second stanza. 

The Panthers were awarded another power play opportunity and Charles delivered his second goal in a three-minute span which evened the game at 3-3. Terrance Goguen and Paul Flavey added helpers on the goal.