Jeffs Shut Out UNE, 4-0; Seniors Set Program Record

The Class of 2010 is Amherst's winningest group of seniors in program history (63-25-7).

AMHERST, MA – The seventh-ranked Amherst College men’s ice hockey team increased its unbeaten streak to 12 games (10-0-2) and the Lord Jeff Class of 2010 became the winningest group of seniors in program history with a 4-0 win over the University of New England Friday night at Orr Rink. The Jeffs improve to 13-2-2 (8-2-2 NESCAC), while the Nor’easters fall to 1-16-0 (0-12-0 ECAC East) with their eighth consecutive loss.

Amherst seniors Andrew Stevenson (Newton, MA), Keith Nelson (Manalapan, NJ), Jack Baer (Edina, MN), Ted Vickers (Chilliwack, BC) and Sean Patterson (Lake Worth, FL) are 63-25-7 as a group, surpassing the previous record of 62 wins that was set by the class of 2001 (62-27-7) and matched last year by the Class of 2009 (62-35-6). After winning 14 games in their first two seasons at Amherst, the Lord Jeff seniors helped set a program record with 22 victories a year ago.

Fresh off a career-high 59-save performance against Babson, Nor’easter goaltender Mike Roper (0-7) stopped 35 shots in a solid performance between the pipes. Amherst first-year Nathan Corey (Anchorage, AK) needed to make only nine saves to earn his third shutout of the season. Corey has yet to allow a goal as a Lord Jeff, stopping a combined 42 of 42 shots in shutout wins over Salve Regina, Fitchburg State and UNE.

Joe Brock ’11 (Cumming, GA) had a goal and two assists to lead Amherst, with sophomore Kevin English (West Seneca, NY) adding a goal and an assist for his first and second collegiate points. The Jeffs scored a goal in each of the first two periods before sealing the win with a two-goal third stanza.

Amherst entered the game ranked first in Division III in penalty kill percentage (92.8), second in fewest penalty minutes served per game (11.1) and third in scoring defense (1.69 gpg), averages that improved after the Jeffs committed only two penalties and successfully killed all three of UNE’s power play attempts. Amherst’s opponents are 0-for-15 in man-advantage situations in the past four games.

First-year Nathan Corey (3-0) has stopped each of the 42 shots he has faced as a Lord Jeff.

Amherst held a 13-5 edge in shots on goal in the opening period, but the Nor’easters had several scoring opportunities. Their first prime chance came five minutes into the contest when sophomore forward Justin Miner rattled the left post on a shot from the wing. UNE went on the power play at the 12:30 mark but nearly surrendered a short-handed goal after a turnover in the neutral zone led to a breakaway by Amherst’s Baer, who tried to beat Roper with a backhanded attempt but missed wide.

The hosts broke the scoreless tie at the 15:45 mark of the first period when Vickers sent a pass to the point from behind the net. English received the puck, hit the bottom half of the crossbar and got a favorable bounce to mark his first collegiate goal.

The visitors came right back when first-year Scott McManaman tried to hit classmate Paul Kashmanian storming up the right wing, but he could not get his stick on the puck. Amherst went on its first power play with 2:06 remaining in the period after a slashing penalty, but the Nor'easter defense held up and the Jeffs headed into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.

New England had a power play chance in the fourth minute of the second period and Amherst had two 5-on-4 opportunities midway through the stanza, but the game’s second goal would not come until there were only 57 seconds showing on the clock. Sophomore Eddie Effinger (Belleville, IL) gave the Jeffs a 2-0 lead courtesy of assists from sophomore Mark Colp (Wareham, MA) and junior Gavin Carson (Montreal, Quebec). Junior Matt Rhone (Dedham, MA) nearly made it a 3-0 game before the second intermission, but Roper came up with a sprawling glove save.

It took only 1:27 for Brock to increase Amherst’s lead to 3-0 in the third period by drilling home a loose puck from the point. Roper would make yet another spectacular glove save one minute later, but the Jeffs would add a fourth goal at the 8:36 mark when sophomore Mike Baran (Duxbury, MA) scored off a face-off from the left circle. Baran’s shot hit the post and just barely settled over the goal line, but it was enough to give Amherst an insurance tally.

With Bowdoin College ending in a 4-4 tie with Williams College Friday night, the Lord Jeffs took sole possession of first place in the NESCAC standings. Amherst will host the University of Southern Maine Huskies Saturday at 3 p.m., while the University of New England will travel to take on Hamilton College at the same time.