Mammoths Find Nylon in All Three Stanzas to Cruise Past Colby, 6-3

Mammoths Find Nylon in All Three Stanzas to Cruise Past Colby, 6-3

AMHERST, Mass. – The Mammoths scored in all three periods, including three power play goals in the first stanza, as the Amherst College men's hockey team cruised past Colby College, 6-3 Saturday afternoon at Orr Rink.

With the win, Amherst improves to 5-4-2 on the season and to 3-2-2 in league play, while Colby falls to 5-4-2 overall (2-4-1 NESCAC). Amherst returns to action on Friday, Jan. 11 when they host Tufts University beginning at 7 p.m.

The visitors best chance of the opening period came seven minutes into the contest, with Logan Clarke, Justin Grillo and Nick O'Connor each putting shots on target in a five second span to test the Mammoths' keeper, however Michael Cullen '21 stood strong in between the pipes to keep the game scoreless. 

Taking a 3-0 lead into the first intermission, Amherst needed just 2:28 to net three power play goals following a Mules hooking penalty and five-minute major interference call. 

Getting the home team on the board at the 16:33 mark, Jack Fitzgerald '19 netted his fourth score of the winter with assists from Joey Lupo '20 and Phil Johansson '19 as he deflected a shot from Lupo from the bottom of the left circle over the goal line. 

Doubling the Mammoths' advantage less than a minute later, Johansson and Noah Gilreath '20 teamed up with Steven Mallory '19 to make it 2-0. Putting a shot on frame from the point, Johansson's attempt was turned away by the Mules keeper, however the rebound made its way to Mallory on the right dot for the one-time score into an open goal. 

Capping off the Mammoths' explosive run with a score with 59.8 seconds remaining in the opening period, sophomore Pieter von Steinbergs logged a player-up goal as his wrist shot from the high slot through traffic made its way into the top right corner.

An energetic second period featured five goals between the sides, with Amherst holding onto a 5-3 lead heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation.

Giving the Mammoths a four-goal cushion 1:21 into the second stanza, Sean Wrenn '22 capitalized on a perfectly played 2-v-1 rush, as Max Roche '19 dished a pass to Wrenn on the left post for the score.

Logging the Mules first goal of the battle, J.P. Schuhlen cut Colby's deficit to 4-1 just over a minute later as he powered a wrist shot from the top of the right circle over the glove of the Amherst netminder. Kienan Scott was credited with the assist on the play. 

Extending Amherst's lead to 5-1, Wrenn potted his second goal of the day at the 12:55 mark following a blocked shot from Mark Esposito '20 and tip from Stephen Rex '22. Setting up on the left post, Wrenn was perfectly positioned for the one-timer. 

Justin Grillo made it a 5-2 game two minutes later, as he tallied his fifth goal of the winter with 5:12 on the clock. Working the puck around the zone, Nick O'Connor sent a pass across the slot to Grillo on the far left post for the open net score. 

Getting back into striking distance, Grillo found nylon for the second time at the 16:55 mark to set the score at 5-3. Executing a set play off the faceoff, O'Connor won the draw back to Velan Nandhakumaran who found Grillo down at the bottom of the circle. Quickly moving to net, Grillo deked to his backhand and slid a shot past the outstretched keeper.

Retaking a three-goal edge 1:01 into the third period, Jack Lloyd '21 tucked a wrap around shot inside the near post to record what stood as the final score of the matchup and help lift Amherst to the 6-3 victory. Patrick Daly '20 and Johansson earned assists on the play. 

In between the pipes, Cullen (4-1-1) made 19 stops for Amherst in the winning effort, while Andrew Tucci (5-4-2) registered 49 saves for Colby in the loss. 

Amherst owned a dominating 55-22 advantage in shots on frame and finished 3-for-8 on the power play, while Colby went 0-for-4 up a skater.