#11 Jeffs Drop 3-1 Result at Utica

Mark Colp scored Amherst's only goal of the weekend.

From a Utica College release

UTICA, NY - Utica forward Jon Gaffney had a career night, netting two goals and adding one assist, as the Pioneers defeated the 10th Amherst College men’s ice hockey team 3-1, in front of 2,975 fans at the Utica Memorial Auditorium Saturday night.

The Pioneers, who snapped a two game skid, improved to 6-3 overall while the visiting Lord Jeffs lost their second game in as many nights and evened their record to 2-2. With two straight losses, the Jeffs have lost consecutive games for the first time in two years.

Utica freshman goalie Evan Smith was a rock in net all evening, surrendering just one goal, as he stopped 26 shots and earned his fourth victory of the season.

The Pioneers dominated the first five minutes of the contest and jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Gaffney beat All-American senior goalie Cole Anderson (Sylvan Lake, Alberta), between the legs, to give UC an early advantage. Freshman classmates Ridge Garbutt and Nick Geraci assisted on the even strength goal.

Amherst, which killed a 5-on-3 power-play immediately following Utica’s first goal, warmed up a bit as the period progressed but the Pioneers still carried a 12-5 shot advantage into the first intermission.

Utica came out sluggish in the second period, committing two penalties in the first minute, and the Lord Jeffs took advantage by netting a 4-on-4 goal, just as the Pioneers released their fourth skater from the box, to knot the score, 1-1, 2:35 into the period. Junior forward Mark Colp (Wareham, MA) wristed the game-tying goal into the top left corner off an assist from sophomore Mike Moher (Toronto, Ontario).

Utica regained the lead midway through the second period when Gaffney dug the puck out of the corner and blindly passed it out front right to the stick of classmate Ridge Garbutt. Garbutt netted his second goal of the season, in the right side of the net, to put UC back on top, 2-1. Freshman defender Mike Slowikowski was also credited with an assist on the goal.

Gaffney went on to score an empty netter, his fifth of the year, to seal the victory for the Pioneers with 31 seconds to play. Freshman Chris Santiago and junior captain Tim Coffman assisted on Gaffney's second tally of the contest.

Anderson made 26 saves in his second straight loss for the visiting Lord Jeffs. The Pioneers outshot Amherst 29-27 on the evening and Utica fended off eight power-plays to preserve the victory.