Lord Jeffs Fall Short of Comeback Against Skidmore, 3-2

Mike Baran scored his second goal of the season, cutting
Skidmore's lead to one goal to set up a great finish at Orr.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s ice hockey team opened up another cross-conference weekend with a home game against Skidmore College at Orr Rink this evening. Skidmore (4-10-2/ 3-5-2 ECAC) snapped a six-game losing streak to Amherst (7-4-4/5-2-3 NESCAC), scoring the game’s first three goals before holding off a late charge for a 3-2 win.

Skidmore scored the game’s first goal at the 17:13 mark of the first period, capitalizing off an Amherst turnover deep in its own zone. Junior defensemen Alex Essaris picked the pocket of a Lord Jeff defender in the slot, and dropped a no-look pass to Brendan Cottam on the left circle. Cottam wasted no time lifting a hard wrist shot to the top corner, beating Amherst goaltender Cole Anderson (Sylvan Lake, Alberta) glove side high.

Amherst was forced to kill off two penalties in the first five minutes of the second period, stealing momentum away from Skidmore through its special teams. The Lord Jeffs drew a pair of penalties on Skidmore through the middle of the period, but the Thoroughbreds answered the call with two kills of their own.

Skidmore’s lead grew to 2-0 less than three minutes into the third period, once again off a turnover in the Amherst zone. Alex Mykolenko picked off a pass near the blue line and fed Julian Malakorn back door to beat Anderson stick side with a one-timer.

The Thoroughbreds stretched their lead to 3-0 with 13:55 to play in the third period, scoring late on a power play. Rookie Tony Giacin scored his first collegiate goal, taking a beautiful feed from Nick Dupuis as he drove hard to the goal mouth. Co-captain Hunter Thayer picked up the second assist on the goal.

Amherst closed the gap to 3-1 with 10:52 to play in the third, scoring a power play goal its own. Senior Joe Brock (Cumming, GA) scored off helpers from defensemen Gavin Carson (Montreal, Quebec) and Brandon Hew (Fresno, CA).

With just 3:40 to play the Lord Jeffs caught a break when Mike Baran (Duxbury, MA) threw the puck on net from the point, scoring his second goal of the season. Skidmore goaltender Colin Bessey had a pretty good look at the shot, but it skipped through his pads and trickled into the net for Amherst’s second goal.

Less than a minute later, rookie Ryan Edwards (Rochester, NY) was called for a penalty, leaving Amherst just 40 seconds following the penalty to score an equalizer. Amherst successfully killed off the penalty, and would have the chance to pull Anderson for a sixth skater. The Lord Jeffs played 6-on-5 hockey for nearly half a minute and looked dangerous, but time ran out as the Thoroughbreds held on for the 3-2 win.

Anderson finished the night with 22 saves in the loss for Amherst, while Bessey made 23 stops in net for the win. Amherst will take on Castleton State College at home tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m.