Amherst Settles to 4-4 Overtime Tie Against Hamilton

Matt Rhone had a goal and an assist in the tie against Hamilton.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s ice hockey team held a 4-1 lead over Hamilton College in NESCAC action at Orr Rink this evening, but ultimately settled to a 4-4 overtime tie. The Lord Jeffs shift to 6-6-3 overall and 4-1-2 in the NESCAC, while Hamilton moves to 6-4-2 (3-2-2).

Amherst sophomore Mike Moher (Toronto, Ontario) needed just 14 seconds of first period action to put the Lord Jeffs up 1-0. The Continentals controlled the opening face-off, but Amherst senior Matt Rhone (Dedham, MA) took possession and skated down the right side of the Hamilton zone. Rhone’s shot, the first of the game for either side, was saved by Scott Hefferman, but the rebound sat up perfectly for Moher to bang home from the slot into an open net.

Fourteen proved to be a lucky number for the Lord Jeffs, as Rhone scored just 14 seconds after Amherst went on the power play in the first to take a 2-0 lead. A Continental player was sent to the penalty box with 14:04 remaining in the period, and Amherst wasted no time getting the puck to Rhone on the left hash for a wrist shot to the upper corner.

Just 2:42 into the second period, Amherst rookie Brian Safstrom (Woodinville, WA) used a Hamilton giveaway in the Continental’s zone to set up senior Joe Brock (Cumming, GA) at the hash mark. Brock left no doubt with his shot, lifting a snap shot over Hefferman’s glove into the upper corner.

With 13:51 to play in the second, Hamilton grabbed one goal back on a short-handed bid. After a Continental player pasted Brock at the blue line to take control of the puck, Nick Anderson carried possession two-thirds of the ice before beating Cole Anderson (Sylvan Lake, Alberta) for the score.

Less than three minutes later, Amherst junior co-captain Eddie Effinger (Belleville, IL) returned the favor when he stole the puck on a forecheck during Hamilton’s power play. Effinger split two Continental defenders before beating Hefferman for a 4-1 lead.

Hamilton closed the gap to 4-2 with 8:22 remaining in the second on a scrappy goal by Andrew White. Sophomore defender Joe Houk picked up the assist on the Continental’s second goal of the game. Just before the midpoint of the third period, Hamilton’s Michael DiMare scored on assists from Houk and Andrew White.

Only 3:16 later, Hamilton completed the comeback, scoring with 7:58 to play to tie the game at 4-4. The equalizer came off the stick of Bryan Kelly, with a lone assist being awarded to Joe Buicko.

Neither team was able to find a game-winner in regulation, as the two conference rivals took the ice for overtime. In the extra stanza, the best chance for either team came in the final minute when Rhone hit the crossbar to leave the game deadlocked in the end.

Anderson finished the night with 32 saves, taking all four goals-against in 60 minutes of work for Amherst. Hefferman made 11 saves with four goals against, with Joe Quattrocchi making 11 saves in 36:30 of shutout relief. Amherst will return to action on this weekend at Conn College and Tufts for a pair of NESCAC games on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.