Jeffs Hang on for 3-2 Win Over UMASS-Boston

Sophomore Keith Nelson scored in the third period for the eventual game-winner. 

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s ice hockey team scored once in each period of its ECAC East game against visiting UMASS-Boston, as the Lord Jeffs picked up a 3-2 win to increase their winning streak against the Beacons to seven games. UMASS managed to score a pair of goals in the third period to make things interesting, but Amherst was able to hold on for the victory.

The first power play opportunity of the game came in favor of UMASS-Boston with just under 12 minutes remaining in the opening period, but the Beacons were unable to fire any shots at Amherst rookie goaltender Jonathan LaRose (Boyle, Alberta) during their two-minute stretch of 5-on-4 action.

Amherst senior forward Gregg Adamo (Manalapan, NJ) skated in toward a loose puck in the Beacons’ end, but he was knocked off course by UMASS sophomore goalie Ryan Donovan, which resulted in the Jeffs’ first power play chance of the game. Amherst’s first shot of the one-man advantage came from the stick of first-year defenseman Gavin Carson (Montreal, Quebec), who was left alone with a great view of the net. Carson took his time and let loose a low shot that made its way through a crowd of Jeffs and Beacons and past a screened Donovan, as Amherst took a 1-0 lead with six-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first frame.

The Jeffs looked as though they would comfortably take their 1-0 lead into the locker room, but first-year Luke Arnold was whistled for a holding penalty with just 52 ticks left on the clock. Amherst managed to fend off the Beacons for the remainder of the period and for the first 68 seconds coming out of intermission, as UMASS squandered its second power play opportunity of the game.

After the Beacons were handed another 5-on-4 opportunity with five minutes remaining in the second period, Amherst first-year Luke Arnold (Lincoln, MA) intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and found senior co-captain Kyle Schoppel (Cambridge, Ontario) streaking up the right side. Schoppel skated in from the right and beat Donovan on the far post for a short-handed goal to give Arnold his second assist of the night and increase the Jeffs’ lead to 2-0, which is where the game stood heading into the final period.

Amherst got right to work in the third period and quickly took advantage of yet another UMASS penalty. Sophomore forward Keith Nelson (Manalapan, NJ) received the puck on the right side with plenty of time to settle himself, as he sent a slap shot toward the near post. Donovan was unable to get a touch on the puck, and Nelson’s shot ricocheted off the inside of the post and into the back of the net, giving the Jeffs a 3-0 lead with 18:33 left in regulation.

The Beacons got on the board four-and-a-half minutes later when first-year Matt Atsoff and sophomore Kris Kranzky set up rookie forward Eric Tufman for a power play goal. Tufman cut his team’s deficit to one goal with just two-and-a-half minutes to play when he picked up a rebound on first-year Brett Calhoun’s shot and poked the puck past LaRose, but the Jeffs were able to hang on for the 3-2 victory.

LaRose made 31 saves to improve to 3-0-1 on the year, while Donovan stopped 42 shots for the Beacons. Amherst moves to 5-3-2 (3-1-1) on the season, while UMASS-Boston falls to 5-5-1 (2-4-1). The Lord Jeffs will host 11th-ranked Babson College Saturday at 3 p.m.