Second Period Surge Lifts Amherst Past Worcester State in Non-Conference Clash

Second Period Surge Lifts Amherst Past Worcester State in Non-Conference Clash

AMHERST, Mass. – A four-goal second period that featured even strength, power play and short-handed scores by the Mammoths was enough to extend the home team' unbeaten streak to four as the Amherst College men's ice hockey team edged Worcester State University, 4-3 Saturday afternoon at Orr Rink.

With the win, Amherst improves to 5-9-2 on the season, while Worcester State drops to 5-11-1 overall. Amherst returns to action on Friday, Jan. 31 when they travel to top-ranked Trinity College for a 7:30PM NESCAC contest.

Will Ahearn gave the visitors an early 1-0 lead 4:32 into the matchup, using assists from Nick Patullo and Jake Karelas to notch his fourth of the winter. Dumping the puck into the offensive end and controlling possession in the right corner, Patullo rolled around the top of the circle and dished a backhanded pass to Ahearn at the left dot who one-timed a laser into the top nearside corner.

Despite the Mammoths owning a 19-9 edge in shots on frame in the first period, it took the home team until the second to get on the board – with the Mammoths rattling off four unanswered scores to take a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Down a skater to start the second stanza, a man in the box didn't stop Patrick Daly '20 from finding the back of the net 54 seconds after the opening faceoff to even the game at one all. Forcing a turnover at the right point, P.J. Conlon '20 hit Daly with a leading pass for a breakaway before Daly ripped a snap shot over the glove of the Lancers' netminder.

Grabbing their first lead of the day just over five minutes later, Joey Lupo '20 logged his third of the year as he stickhanded out of the right corner and snuck a wrister through traffic and inside the near post. Sean Wrenn '22 and Greg Krisberg'20 were credited with the assists on the play.

Extending the Mammoths' cushion to 3-1 with 4:55 on the clock, Matteo Mangiardi '21 hit nylon after a stellar pass from Mitchell Shults '22. Corralling a blocked shot at  the Mammoths' blueline, Shults caught the Lancers on a change and connected with Mangiardi a step behind the defense. Capitalizing on the opportunity, Mangiardi deked to his forehand and sent a shot five-hole for Amherst's second breakaway goal of the bout.

Giving Amherst a score in all three phases of the game, Daly added a power play goal and what stood as the game-winner in the 37th minute to make it 4-1. Working the puck to the right point, first-year Ryan Wilson's low blast was tipped by Daly past the Worcester State keeper.

Looking to pull Worcester State back within striking distance in the third, Max Roth made the most of an Amherst tripping penalty as he drove a wrist shot from the right dot over the goal line to set the score at 4-2 with 8:23 remaining.  

Cutting the visitors' deficit to one with 1:48 on the clock after pulling their keeper for the extra skater, Deiter Stange sparked hope for the improbable comeback with a helper from Kevin Drevitch as he sent a wrist shot from the high slot into the bottom left corner.

That was as close as the Lancer got however, as Giancarlo Ventre '20 turned away the visitors final two shots on frame to lift Amherst to the 4-3 win.

In between the pipes, Ventre (2-7-0) registered 15 saves in the winning effort for Amherst, while Nevin Tardif (0-3-0) racked up 45 stops for the Lancers in the loss.

Putting 19 shots on target in both the first and second periods, the Mammoths owned a dominant 49-18 advantage in shots on frame and finished 1-for-3 on the power play, while Worcester State went 1-for-4 up a skater.