Ephs Fall to Amherst After Having 2-0 Lead

Brian McNamara '15 (l.) and Sean Dougherty '15
Brian McNamara '15 (l.) and Sean Dougherty '15

Ephs host Bowdoin in NESCAC First Round Game Next Saturday at a time to be determine

AMHERST, MA -- After starting off with a 2-0 lead, the Ephs (14-8-2, 10-7-1 NESCAC) were unable to retain their lead against the Amherst Jeffs (18-4-2, 14-4-0 NESCAC) at the Orr Rink this afternoon, and ultimately fell 5-3 in their last regular season match. Freshman David Italiano scored two goals in the contest, and sophomore Tyler Young scored his second goal in as many games, however the Ephs were unable to shut down the Jeffs' offensive unit in the latter half of the game.  

The last time these two teams faced one another was in early December, when the Ephs came away with a 4-3 victory at home.

Amherst came into this contest with a 17-4-2 overall record, and were 13-4-0 in the NESCAC. Williams came into this match with a 14-7-2 overall record, and were 10-6-1 in the conference.

In net for the Ephs this afternoon was senior netminder Sean Dougherty. Dougherty came into the match with a .916 save percentage. Danny Vitale was the goalkeeper for Amherst today, who boasted a .939 save percentage coming into today's game.

This is the last game in the regular season for both of these teams, with the conference playoffs starting next weekend. Last night the Ephs fell to Hamilton College 5-1. Amherst faced Middlebury yesterday and took a 4-0 victory.

Williams came away from the first period with a 2-1 lead. The first goal of the period came on the power play for the Ephs, after Andrew Fenwick was called to the box for hitting from behind. Coming into this power play, the Ephs were 26.4% on the man advantage this season. David Italiano scored his ninth goal of the season at 7:36, bringing the score to 1-0. Italiano was unassisted on the play.

After matching roughing calls were called at 17:01 in the first, Williams took a 2-0 lead on the ensuing 4-4. At 17:18, Tyler Young scored his seventh goal of the season off of a pass from classmate George Hunkele (third assist).

Amherst was given the opportunity to respond on the power play, after Ephs' Young was sent to the box at 18:18 for tripping. At 18:56, David White (seventeenth goal) buried one past Sean Dougherty to make the game 2-1. White was assisted on the play by Thomas Lindstrom (ninth assist) and Aaron Deutsch (thirteenth assist).

The Ephs outshot their opponents 14-8 after the first period.

"I think that we had some really good offensive movement, we made some really good plays. I think if we could have done anything more offensively, it would have been to convert on our power plays," commented head coach Bill Kangas on the team's offensive prowess in the match. "This was a good team, if we could have done anything better, it would have been that."

One goal was scored in the second period, and it was the equalizer for the Jeffs, bringing the game to an even 2-2. Andrew Fenwick (fifth goal) got one past the Williams defensive unit at 6:25, with help from Patrick Mooney (fifth assist) and Dan Merenich (second assist).

The Ephs outshot the Jeffs 15-12 in the second period.

Amherst got off to a quick start in the third period, as they were able to capitalize on a power play that carried over into the start of the third period, after junior Zander Masucci was called for interference late into the second. At :22 of the third, Chris Roll scored his second goal of the season on the man advantage, bringing the game to 3-2, giving the Jeffs the lead for the first time in the game. Roll was assisted on the play by Michael Cashman (sixth assist) and Jake Turrin (twelfth assist).

The Jeffs scored again just a few minutes later, when defenseman Tyler Granara cashed in his first goal of the season at 3:40. Granara was assisted on the play by Mike Rowbothan (eleventh assist) and Kevin Ryder (fifth assist). This goal brought the score to 4-2.

Amherst scored their third goal of the period at 13:01, bringing the game to 5-2 in favor of the Jeffs. Brendan Burke scored his fifth goal of the season after beating Dougherty, and was assisted by Kevin Ryder (sixth assist) and Thomas Lindstrom (tenth assist). These assists were both Ryder's and Lindstrom's second of the afternoon.

The Ephs were able to get one more past the Jeffs in the game. At 19:45, David Italiano (tenth goal) scored his second goal of the match. Williams had the extra attacker on the play, after the Ephs pulled Dougherty in attempts to come back late in the game. Italiano was assisted on the play by classmate Colby Cretella (seventh assist) and sophomore James McNamara (eighth assist). This goal brought the final score to 5-3, the Ephs unable to retain the lead they amassed in the first period.

The Ephs outshot the Jeffs 14-9 in the last twenty minutes, and 43-29 in the game.

Coach Kangas spoke to the team's inability to keep their lead tonight: "Defensively, we made some positional mistakes, which resulted in the goals against tonight. Those are correctable, but it is going to take a lot of work to fix it, and headed into playoffs this coming weekend, that will be our aim this week in practice."

With this loss, the Ephs' overall season record ends at 14-8-2, with a NESCAC record of 10-7-1. With this victory, Amherst's regular season finishes with an 18-4-2 overall record, and 14-4-0 in the conference.

NESCAC Men's Ice Hockey Final Standings

1. Trinity (16-1-1 / .917)

2. Amherst (14-4-0 / .778)

3. Connecticut College (10-7-1 / .583) *

4. Williams (10-7-1 / .583) *

5. Bowdoin (8-7-3 / .528)  

6. Hamilton (7-7-4 / .500)

7. Middlebury (7-8-3 / .472)

8. Tufts  (5-11-2 / .333)

9. Colby (2-13-3 / .194)

10. Wesleyan (2-16-0 / .111)

Tiebreakers

* Connecticut College and Williams both had an identical conference winning percentage (.583).  In head-to-head competition, both teams are 1-1-0. Both teams have the same number of conference wins (10) and against the top four teams (Trinity, Amherst, Connecticut College, Williams), both teams are 2-4-0.  Against the top eight teams (Trinity, Amherst, Connecticut College, Williams, Bowdoin, Hamilton, Middlebury, Tufts), Connecticut College is 7-7-0 to earn the third seed, while Williams is 6-7-1 to earn the fourth seed.

2015 NESCAC Men's Ice Hockey Championship

Quarterfinals – Saturday, March 1 (at Higher Seeds)

No. 8 Tufts at No. 1 Trinity – TBD

No. 7 Middlebury at No. 2 Amherst – TBD

No. 6 Hamilton at No. 3 Connecticut College – TBD

No. 5 Bowdoin at No. 4 Williams – TBD

Semifinals – Saturday, March 7 (at Highest Remaining Seed)
1:00 pm | 4:00 pm

Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed

Remaining Quarterfinal Winners

Championship – Sunday, March 8
2:00 pm

Semifinal Winners