Amherst Battles to 2-2 OT Tie Against #3 Norwich

Sophomore Brandon Hew scored the game-tying goal for
Amherst  late in the third period.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s ice hockey team played host to the defending national champion and 3rd-ranked Cadets of Norwich University this evening at Orr Rink. The Lord Jeffs battled back from a goal down on two occasions, pulling out a 2-2 overtime tie against the Cadets to remain unbeaten in conference play. The result moves Amherst to 2-2-1 (2-0-1 NESCAC) and Norwich to 3-1-1 (2-0-1 ECAC East).

It took Norwich less than two minutes to take a 1-0 lead, as rookie Travis Janke used a turnover behind the Amherst net to wrap a shot past Cole Anderson (Sylvan Lake, Alberta). Before the game was five minutes old, the Lord Jeffs were given 1:26 of 5-on-3 hockey to equalize. With just seven seconds remaining before the first penalty expired, Amherst senior forward Luke Arnold (Lincoln, MA) knocked home a point-blank finish off the rebound of an Eddie Effinger (Belleville, IL) shot.

With 4:05 to play in the first period, Arnold was sent to the penalty box for tripping. The Cadets used just 19 seconds of the power-play, with Kyle Thomas beating Anderson with a wrist shot from the slot off another turnover in the Amherst zone.  

Amherst was granted a second 5-on-3 in the final two minutes of the period, with the Cadet penalties overlapping for only 37 seconds this time. Norwich successfully killed off the first penalty, and went into the first intermission up 2-1. The Jeffs would start the second period with 28 seconds remaining on the single man-advantage, but could not capitalize.

The Lord Jeffs skated with the Cadets for the majority of the second period, and were rewarded with a power play with just 2:02 remaining in the stanza. Amherst was unable to take advantage of the extra skater, as Norwich ended the period and the penalty kill without surrendering a single shot on net.

Just over five minutes into the third period, Amherst sophomore Brandon Hew (Fresno, CA) floated a wrist shot from the point through traffic and past Norwich netminder Alex Dubois to tie the game 2-2. Senior co-captain Trip Wray (Walpole, MA) was credited with the assist on the score. Norwich nearly regained the lead midway through the third period, but Amherst junior defender Jeremy Deutsch (Huntington, NY) cleared a loose puck from Anderson’s crease before a Cadet skater could punch it home.

With 6:14 remaining in the third, Amherst senior Gavin Carson (Montreal, Quebec) was sent to the penalty box for interference. The Lord Jeffs weathered a heavy storm of offense from the Cadets, killing off the final special teams situation of regulation.

With the game deadlocked at 2-2 at the end of the third, five additional minutes were added to the scoreboard clock to try to decide the outcome. With 3:11 remaining in the extra session, Anderson made a beautiful glove save that brought the Amherst student section to its feet.

Twice in the final minute Amherst was inches from springing a forward in alone on Dubois, but the Norwich defense prevented a breakaway each time. In the final three seconds, Mike Moher (Toronto, Ontario) missed the game-winner by inches, trailing the play.

Anderson finished the night with 29 saves, while Dubois turned away 31 shots for Norwich. Amherst will return to action tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. with Saint Michael’s College coming to town.