Amherst Knocks Off No. 15 New England College in Overtime, 3-2

Junior Joel Covelli netted the game-winner in the
Jeffs' 3-2 overtime victory.
  By Ryan O'Donnell '08 AMHERST, MA - The Amherst College men’s hockey team continued its roller coaster season with a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over 15th-ranked New England College. With the win, Amherst improves to 12-7-3 overall and 10-5-2 in the conference while the Pilgrims drop to 13-7-3 overall. 

The Jeffs started the day by honoring the team’s six seniors: Griffin Biedron (Chelsea, MI), Andrew Schremp (Denver, CO), Gregg Adamo (Manalapan, NJ), Mike McIntosh (Soldotna, AK), Rob Stevenson (Newton, MA), and Kyle Schoppel (Cambridge, ON). The senior class has piled up a 51-39-6 overall record, one of the best in Amherst College history.  

The game opened with a flurry of action before sophomore forward Teddy Vickers (Chilliwack, BC) tucked home a crafty feed from junior winger Will Collins (Edina, MN) after he received a tape-to-tape pass from Stevenson.  

New England banged home the tying goal just over a minute later when Filip Bjork fired one into the top right corner, and the Pilgrims seized the lead with less than 30 seconds to play in the opening period. Per Thunberg deflected home Mike Carmody’s shot past Amherst rookie netminder Jonathan LaRose (Boyle, Alberta) for the power-play tally. 

After a scoreless second period, Amherst continued to apply pressure at the Pilgrim net. The Jeffs were rewarded when junior forward Brendan Powers (Walpole, MA) finished off a flurry in front while Schremp and Jack Baer (Edina, MN) collected helpers on the goal. 

Three periods weren’t enough to settle this one, and after a back-and-forth overtime the Jeffs caught a break as a New England defenseman lost his footing at center ice. Junior Joel Covelli (Carlisle, ON) was lurking and scooped up the loose puck and skated in alone before he sniped a wrist-shot glove side that beat New England goalie Ron Baia. The Amherst bench cleared and mobbed Covelli against the boards. Schoppel picked up an assist on the goal for his 93rd career point. 

LaRose made 34 saves for the Jeffs while Baia finished with 34 of his own for the Pilgrims. With the win, Amherst moved a step closer to hosting a first round NESCAC tournament game. A win at Williams or Middlebury next weekend will lock up home-ice for the quarterfinal round. The Jeffs also still have an outside chance to host the conference tournament as well.