Rhone's Hat Trick Powers 6-3 Win Over Wesleyan

Junior Matt Rhone scored a hat trick in Amherst's season opener.

AMHERST, MA – The defending NESCAC Champion Amherst College men’s hockey team rallied to score the final four goals in a 6-3 victory over Little Three archrival Wesleyan University this evening in the 2009-10 season opener for both schools. The 10th-ranked Lord Jeffs trailed 3-2 through most of the second period before pulling away for the win.

Amherst scored the game’s first goal less than four minutes into the game, when junior Luke Arnold (Lincoln, MA) buried a shot during a 5-on-3 power play. Assists on the opening score went to senior Ted Vickers (Chilliwack, BC) and rookie Johnny Van Siclen (Carlisle, MA).

Wesleyan responded with a pair of goals over the next six minutes to take a 2-1 lead. The Cardinals’ first goal was scored by Brett Bandazian, before teammate John Guay following suit to put Wesleyan up at the 10:28 mark of the first. Amherst scored the final first period goal, with Matt Rhone (Dedham, MA) beat Wesleyan goaltender Tim Archibald with just 1:32 to play in the frame.

Wesleyan regained the lead at 3-2 just 7:39 into the second period on a power-play goal. The score came off the stick of Tom Salah, with assists issued to Geoff Mucha and Adam Kaiser. The score was the final of the day for the Cardinals, as Amherst goaltender Cole Anderson (Sylvan Lake, BC) closed the door over the final period and a half.

Amherst tied the game at 3-3 on a score from sophomore forward Mark Colp (Wareham, MA) just past the midway point of the second period. Arnold and rookie Nick Brunette (Chaska, MN) set up the equalizer, which set the table for Rhone to shine. The speedy Amherst forward took a pass from sophomore Eddie Effinger (Belleville, IL) on the power play, and scored his second goal of the night for the eventual game-winner.

Midway through the third period, Amherst’s Trip Wray (Walpole, MA) took a loose puck from the red line on a shorthanded breakaway for an insurance score. Wray was set free by a nice play by senior Jack Baer (Edina, MA) on the penalty kill. In the final minutes, with Archibald pulled from the Wesleyan goal, Rhone added an empty-netter to seal the win, and complete his hat trick effort.

Archibald made 38 saves in net for the Cardinals, while Anderson turned away 19 shots in net for the Amherst win. With the victory, Amherst sits at 1-0-0 (1-0-0 NESCAC) heading into tomorrow’s 3 p.m. home game against Trinity College. The Cardinals fall to 0-1-0 (0-1-0) and will face Hamilton tomorrow afternoon.