AMHERST, Mass. – Capturing the third-seed in the 2018 NESCAC Championship tournament, the Amherst College men's ice hockey team is set to host a Quarterfinal matchup for the first time since 2015 and will welcome No. 6 seed Colby College to Orr Rink for a 6 p.m. battle this Saturday, Feb. 24.
Saturday's NESCAC Quarterfinal will feature live stats and a webcast broadcasted by the Northeast Sports Network (NSN).
SETTING THE SCENE
Amherst and Colby split its regular season series, with Colby powering back from a 1-0 deficit to score four goals in the final period and claim a 4-1 victory over the Mammoths at Alfond Rink on Jan. 6 and Amherst avenging its early winter loss on Feb. 3 with a dominant 5-1 win at Orr Rink behind a two goal first period and a three score third.
Amherst hits the ice looking to return to the NESCAC Semifinals for the first time since 2016, while Colby will aim to push past the Quarters for the first time since 2011. Saturday's contest will be the first time the Mammoths and Mules meet in the conference tournament since the 2002-03 season when then-No. 3 seed Colby skated away with an big 11-0 victory over the then-No. 6 seed Amherst.
No. 3 Seed (11-8-5, 8-5-5 NESCAC) - Schedule/Roster/Stats
One of just two teams to appear in every NESCAC Championship tournament since its inception, Amherst enters the postseason for the 19th consecutive season with a 17-15 all-time record in Championship play. The Mammoths will look to move past the Quarterfinals for the fourth time in the past five seasons while in search of the program's fourth NESCAC title (2009, 2012, 2015).
- Third in the conference in scoring (0.96 PPG), Thomas Lindstrom '18 leads the Mammoths' offense with 10 goals and 13 assists as the team's lone skater to eclipse the 20-point mark so far this season. Boasting seven players with 12 or more points, Patrick Daly '20 and Jack Fitzgerald '19 have also proved to be forces up front for Amherst, with Daly tying Lindstrom with a team-high 10 scores to go along with eight helpers for 18 total points and Fitzgerald closing out the regular season strong to net nine goals and six assists for 15 points. Alongside the trio, Joey Lupo '20 (8G, 7A), Phil Johansson '19 (4G, 11A), Nick Bondra '21 (5G, 8A) and David White '18 (1G, 11A) have also impressed for the Mammoths.
- Owning a stellar group of special teams units, Amherst currently leads the NESCAC in both power play and penalty kill, with the Mammoths ranking first in all of Division III on the penalty kill (91.2%) and 29th in the nation on the power play (20.2%).
- In between the pipes, Connor Girard '18 (8-4-5) has played the majority of minutes for Amherst, starting 18 games to notch two clean sheets, 419 saves and rack up a .921 save percentage and a 2.06 goals against average. Giancarlo Ventre '20 (2-3-0) and Michael Cullen '21 (1-1-0) have also seen action in goal, with Ventre making 129 saves and owning a .915 save percentage in 289:29 minutes and Cullen recording 35 stops and a 2.41 goals against average in three contests.
No. 6 Seed (12-10-2, 9-7-2 NESCAC) - Schedule/Roster/Stats
Making their 16th appearance in the conference tournament, the Mules enter the postseason owning an 8-15 all-time mark in NESCAC Championship action and in search of the program's first-ever league crown.
- The Mules own the NESCAC's second-best scoring offense (2.25 goals per game) behind the strength of four 20-plus point-getters. Leading the attack is Kienan Scott with eight goals and 15 assists for a team-high 23 points to tie for third in the league in scoring (0.96 PPG), while Phil Klitirinos has tallied six scores and dished out a squad-leading 16 helpers to amass 22 points on the year. Cam MacDonald and Nick O'Connor have also seen success for the offense, with MacDonald leading the Mules with 12 goals to go along with eight assists for 20 points and Nick O'Connor burying 11 scores and dishing out nine helpers.
- In net, Sean Lawrence (11-7-0) has started 20 games for Colby, registering 618 saves to boast three shut outs, a .934 save percentage and a 2.22 goals against average, while Andrew Tucci (1-3-0) has seen action in four contests, making 106 stops to own a .869 save percentage and a 4.02 goals against average.
BY THE NUMBERS
|No. 3 Amherst||No. 6 Colby|
|Goals Against Avg.||2.25||2.57|
2017 NESCAC Men's Ice Hockey Championship
Quarterfinals - Saturday, Feb. 24
No. 8 Tufts at No. 1 Trinity - 1 p.m.
No. 7 Williams at No. 2 Connecticut College - 4:30 p.m.
No. 6 Colby at No. 3 Amherst - 6 p.m.
No. 5 Wesleyan at No. 4 Hamilton - 4 p.m.