Jeffs Kick Off Weekend with 3-1 Win Over Castleton

Jonathan La Rose improved to 6-1 on the year with a win tonight.
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s ice hockey team opened up a home weekend of ECAC East action with a Friday night game against Castleton State. Amherst scored three goals in the final two periods for a 3-1 win at Orr Rink.

Late in a somewhat uneventful first period, Amherst caught a break with just over four minutes remaining when a Spartan player was ejected. Amherst finished the frame on the power play, but was unable to score the game’s opener. The Jeffs held a 9-7 advantage in shots-on-goal during the period, and would start the second stanza with 58 seconds remaining on the power play.

Amherst was unable to score during the major, and just minutes later killed off a power play from the Spartans. Moments later, Amherst rookie Mark Colp (Wareham, MA) scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season in impressive fashion. Colp got in behind  a defender and beat Castleton goaltender Seth McNary to the puck to tap in a score while being hauled down from behind. Junior points-leader Keith Nelson (Manalapan, NJ) picked up his team-leading 11th assist on the play.

The rest of the second period ticked away with relatively few close scoring chances. During the frame, Castleton held a 19-10 edge in shots but failed to score.

Six minutes into the third period, Amherst opened up a 2-0 lead on a nice rebound score. Senior captain Jeff Landers (Hanover, MA) found classmate Shane Lennox (N. Vancouver, BC) with a nice pass on his way in for a breakaway on McNary. Lennox’s initial shot was saved, but the puck popped up above the Spartan goal and fell to junior forward Teddy Vickers (Abbotsford, MC), who crashed the net for his fifth goal of the year.

With just over eight minutes remaining in the third period, Amherst net-minder Jonathan La Rose (Boyle, AB) made a nice kick save with his left foot to keep the Spartans off the board. La Rose made a handful of saves during a late penalty kill but could not keep out a goal with 1:24 remaining. The Spartans goal was put home by Tyler Atkins on assists from Ryan Bartlett and Jeff Alexander.

Following the Castleton goal, head coach Alex Todd pulled McNary for an extra skater. With just four seconds to play, Amherst senior Will Collins (Edina, MN) added an empty-net goal on assists from Vickers and Nelson to seal the win.

La Rose made 38 saves for the win, while McNary ended the night with 26 stops in the losing effort for Castleton. Amherst improves to 9-4-1 with the win, while Castleton State drops to 7-7-2. The Lord Jeffs will host Skidmore College tomorrow for a 3 p.m. game.