Amherst Power Play Lifts Team to 3-1 Win Over Hamilton at Home

Ted Vickers had two goals and an
assist in the win.
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s ice hockey team played host to the Continentals of Hamilton College at Orr Rink this evening in a pivotal early season NESCAC/ECAC East match-up. Hamilton scored the game’s opening goal before a trio of Amherst power-play scores lifted the Lord Jeffs to a 3-1 victory.

Amherst went on the first power play of the game just over three minutes into the first period, which was no surprise considering Hamilton’s tendencies. The Continentals entered tonight with the most penalty minutes in the NESCAC, but also kill of a conference-best 88.7% of power plays. Amherst did not score on their first man-advantage, but entered tonight ranked third in the NESCAC with a 24.5% power-play success rate.

After a pair of unsuccessful Hamilton power-plays, Amherst went back on the man advantage with 6:30 to play in the first. Near the mid-point of the advantage, first-year Eddie Effinger (Belleville, MO) had his backhanded attempt on a rebound denied by Hamilton net minder Ian Stearns.

The first period ended without any goals, and Hamilton holding a 15-12 edge in shots on goal. Despite a pair of penalties on each squad, the Continentals were the more physical team in the opening frame.

Early in the second period, Amherst senior Joel Covelli (Carlisle, ON) nearly put the Jeffs on the board with a miss on a rebound. Covelli took a hard carom, went to the right of Stearns’ goal, and slid a shot in past the goaltender, but across the goal mouth without incident.

Hamilton broke the scoreless tie just minutes later as Vaclav Tomicek beat Amherst goaltender Cole Anderson (Sylvan Lake, Alberta) to his glove side on a slow break. Harry Biggs and Kevin Osborne grabbed assists on Tomicek’s fourth goal of the season.

Amherst found the equalizer with 5:22 to play in the second period on the power play. Senior captain Jeff Landers (Hanover, MA) took a shot from the blue line into traffic, and Amherst got a pair of deflections on the puck to sneak it past Stearns. Points-leader Keith Nelson (Manalapan, NJ) deflected the shot in the slot, before junior Ted Vickers (Chilliwack BC) redirected the puck in from the crease.

The Jeffs took a 2-1 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the second, once again on the power play. The go-ahead goal was scored by senior Will Collins (Edina, MN) on assists from Landers and Vickers.

Just 1:33 into the third period, Amherst opened up some breathing room with a third goal to take a 3-1 lead. In a repeat of the first Jeff score, Vickers was the goal scorer on assists from Landers and Nelson, once again on the power play.

The Lord Jeffs held off the Continentals over the final period, and took home a 3-1 victory to improve to 7-3-1 on the year, and 5-1-1 in conference play. Hamilton dropped to 5-5-1 (4-3-0) overall with the loss.  Anderson made 38 saves in net for Amherst, while Stearns turned away 30 shots in net for Hamilton. The Lord Jeffs will next play at Southern Maine on Friday for a 7 p.m. game.