Amherst Finds Overtime Magic From McIntosh for NESCAC Quarterfinal Win

Mike McIntosh scored the game-winner in OT vs Conn.

AMHERST, MA - The Amherst College men’s hockey team wanted to make head coach Jack Arena’s 300th career victory a memorable one, and it did so with a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over Connecticut College at Orr Rink on Saturday night. With the victory, the Jeffs advance to the NESCAC semifinals for the second consecutive season where they will meet defending champion Middlebury College.

The Camels grabbed the game’s first power-play five minutes into the opening period when Amherst defenseman Rylan Burns (Jasper, Alberta) was whistled for hitting from behind. The Jeffs nearly scored shorthanded when senior captain Kyle Schoppel (Cambridge, Ontario) skated down the left side and fired a backhander that was turned aside by Camel goaltender Greg Parker (Trenton, Ontario).

The Jeffs grabbed the lead during their first power-play of the game at the 14:43 mark. Schoppel skated down the right boards before dishing a backhand pass to sophomore forward Keith Nelson (Manalapan, NJ) who unloaded a slap shot from the right face-off circle that beat Parker glove side.

The Jeffs took a two-goal lead four minutes later with another power-play tally, this time on a five-on-three advantage. Senior forward Andrew Schremp (Denver, CO) took feeds from Gregg Adamo (Manalapan, NJ) and Shane Lennox (N. Vancouver, BC) before ripping a shot into the net.

The Jeffs finished the period with 13 shots while rookie netminder Cole Anderson (Sylvan Lake, Alberta) turned aside all seven Camel shots on goal.

Six minutes into the second session the combo of Adamo and Connecticut defenseman Ben Eischen (Brookfield, NH) were sent to the box for roughing after the whistle, setting up four-on-four hockey. Each team found chances with the open ice before Connecticut's Sean Tuohy (Salisbury Mills, NY) was whistled for interference, giving the Jeffs another power-play opportunity. The Camels nearly fired home a short-handed goal when sophomore forward Trevor Bradley (West Hartford, CT) blasted a slap shot from the left side that Anderson deflected wide.

Connecticut continued to pressure Amherst and junior forward Kevin Plant (Carver, MA) almost brought the Camels within a goal when he found himself one-on-one with Anderson. Plant deked to his backhand but was unable to finish the move.

Amherst was then whistled for two penalties only 20 seconds apart, at the 11:39 and 11:59 marks, respectively, giving the Camels a five-on-three advantage for 1:40. Anderson made five stops during the Camel power-play to help the Jeffs kill the penalties.

The Jeffs nearly made it a three-goal lead with four minutes to play when Brendan Powers (Walpole, MA) took a feed from Jack Baer (Edina, MN), but a gorgeous save from Parker denied Powers’ close-up shot.

Connecticut finally cracked Anderson right as its power-play ended when sophomore forward Ryan Howarth (Grand Blanc, MI) connected for his seventh tally of the season. The Jeffs out-shot the Camels 15-14 during the second period and the teams headed to the locker room with Amherst leading 2-1.

Connecticut tied the game at the 11:10 mark when Eischen scored on a wrist shot after the Camels controlled much of third period’s opening minutes. First-year forward Ryan Riffe (South Berwick, ME) and senior forward Rob Campbell (Reading, MA) picked up assists on the goal. Neither team tallied the winner in regulation and the teams headed to overtime.

Just 2:07 into overtime, senior forward Mike McIntosh (Soldotna, AK) took a feed from Rylan Burns (Jasper, AB) and tucked home a wrist-shot into the left side of the net securing Amherst head Coach Jack Arena his 300th career victory.

Amherst will now travel to Colby College next weekend to meet Middlebury College.