Three-Goal Second Period Leads Men's Hockey Past Tufts, 5-2

Three-Goal Second Period Leads Men's Hockey Past Tufts, 5-2

MALDEN, Mass. – Pieter von Steinbergs '21 and P.J. Conlon '20 netted two goals each as a three-goal second period lifted the Amherst College men's ice hockey team to a 5-2 victory over Tufts University Saturday afternoon at the Valley Forum.

With the win, Amherst improves to 4-9-1 on the season and to 3-6-0 in league play, while Tufts falls to 4-10-0 overall (2-6-0 NESCAC). Amherst is back in action next Friday, Jan. 24 when they travel to Hamilton for a 7:00PM matchup.

First on the board, the home team took a 1-0 lead 7:59 into the battle behind a score from Mason Babbidge. Forcing a turnover in the neutral zone to earn the numbers entering the offensive end, Babbidge corralled a dish from Cal LeClair at the top of the right circle before ripping a wrist shot over the blocker of the Mammoths keeper.

Deadlocking the game at one all before the first intermission, Mitchell Shults '22 netted his second goal of the winter at the 14:10 mark as he caught his defender flatfooted while racing down the left side to earn a breakaway. Deking to his backhand, Shults snuck a shot five-hole to break open scoring for the visitors.

Taking control in the second period, the Mammoths potted three unanswered scores to make it 4-1 after 40 minutes.

Getting things rolling 6:36 into the stanza, von Steinbergs corralled a blocked shot at the left dot and sent a laser into the bottom corner, short-side to give Amherst its first lead of the day. Conlon and Nick Bondra '21 were credited with the assists on the play.

Finding the back of the net once again seven minutes later, Conlon tallied what stood as the game-winner to give Amherst a 3-1 cushion. Heading into the offensive zone on a 3-v-2, Bondra's initial shot was met with a kick save, however Conlon was there  to clean up the rebound as he sent a low shot from the high slot into the nylon.

Continuing to pile on with just over five minutes remaining before the second intermission, von Steinbergs took advantage of a strong forecheck by the Mammoths to extend the visitors' lead to 4-1. Forcing a turnover in Jumbos' territory, three tic-tac passes gave von Steinbergs a clear look in the slot as the junior drove a wrister past the outstretched netminder.

Looking to claw back into striking distance, Tufts found the back of the net 32 seconds into the third period as Ross Delabruere slid a turnaround shot through traffic over the goal line.

That is as close as the home team got to a late comeback, with the Mammoths holding the Jumbos scoreless in the final 19 minutes and Conlon notching one final dagger to lift Amherst to the 5-2 victory.

In between the pipes, Dan Dachille '23 (3-2-1) registered 29 saves to earn the win for Amherst, while Drew Hotte (1-5-0) made 31 stops for the Jumbos in the losing effort.

The Mammoths owned a 36-31 edge in shots on frame and finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while Tufts went 0-for-3 up a skater.