Two First-Period Goals Lift Jeffs to 3-0 Win Over Salve

Luke Arnold had a hand in a pair of goals in the win.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s hockey team played host to visiting Salve Regina University in non-conference action this evening at Orr Rink. The Lord Jeffs scored twice in the first period and held on for a 3-0 win to improve to 5-2-0 on the year. With the loss, the Seahawks drop to 1-8-0 and have yet to win since their season opener.

The Lord Jeffs opened the first period with nearly two minutes of continuous possession in the Seahawks zone, as Amherst looked to be the faster of the two teams. Despite Amherst’s strong start, the first real scoring chance came from Salve Regina’s Lee Trott on a puck that squirted across the Lord Jeff crease. As Trott looked to score the game’s first goal, Amherst rookie netminder Nathan Corey (Anchorage, AK) made a nice save on the left post.

Moments later, Corey was called into action once again as Seahawk Tyler Trott came in on a breakaway. Corey once again was up to the task and kept Salve off the scoreboard. With just under nine minutes remaining in the opening period, Amherst put heavy pressure on Salve goaltender Bobby Baylis but could not sneak a shot past the Seahawk backstop.

During a long possession for the Seahawks in the Amherst zone, Lord Jeff rookie  Jamie Hawkrigg (Waterdown, Ontario) lost his stick in the corner but kept his cool and played tough defense. Just as the Amherst defense took possession, the Lord Jeffs capped off a picture-perfect breakout with a goal by senior Jack Baer (Edina, MN) with 7:07 to play. Assists on Baer’s second goal of the season went to juniors Matt Rhone (Dedham, MA) and Trip Wray (Walpole, MA).

Rookie Nathan Corey posted a shutout win in his first
collegiate appearance.

Amherst took a 2-0 lead with 5:18 to play in the first, with junior Luke Arnold (Lincoln, MA) capping off a hard fought trip into the Salve end with a top-shelf shot. Sophomore defender Mike Baran (Duxbury, MA) was just one of a few Lord Jeffs to keep the puck from leaving the Seahawk zone during the play, as he picked up his first point of the season and first career assist on the score.

Early in the second period, the Seahawks had back-to-back penalties with Amherst being called for elbowing and hitting from behind. The best chance of the four minutes of special teams action came early in the second penalty kill as Amherst senior captain Keith Nelson (Manalapan, NJ) and rookie Nick Brunette (Chaska, MN) broke for a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush. Nelson’s feed to Brunette streaking down the right side was well-played, but Baylis made the save with his left leg pad.

With 11:01 to play in the middle period, Salve’s Sean Ryan was whistled for a penalty as he pulled Amherst’s Eddy Effinger (Belleville, IL) to the ice. While the Lord Jeffs were unable to score during the ensuing power play, the tape-to-tape passing Amherst displayed during a 1:40 offensive possession had to be the best the extra-skater unit has looked this season. The Amherst power play unit was given another chance in the final minutes of the period, and Amherst made the Seahawks pay. After Wray won a draw to Baylis' left, Arnold skated to the slot and flipped a turnaround wrist shot that Wray tipped into the upper portion of the goal for a 3-0 Amherst lead.

Salve Regina started the third period with 1:02 remaining on a power play and nearly cut into the Amherst lead during that chance. The scoring opportunity came on a slow break by Tyler Trott, whose slapshot from just 15 feet out beat Corey, but not the left post.

Neither team was able to string together another promising scoring opportunity, as Corey and Amherst closed out the shutout victory. Tonight was the first collegiate start and appearance for Corey, who went the full 60 minutes with 17 saves for the shutout win. Baylis was impressive in net for the Seahawks, making 40 stops in the loss.

The Lord Jeffs will break after this evening’s game, returning to the ice on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010 at 3 p.m. for a home game against Fitchburg State.