Amherst Takes Over First Place with 5-2 Win at NEC

First-year Mike Baran scored a pair of goals in the Jeffs' 5-2 win.
Courtesy of New England College Sports Information

HENNIKER, NH – Amherst College first-year Mike Baran (Duxbury, MA) netted two goals to lift the visiting Lord Jeffs past the New England College Pilgrims 5-2 Saturday afternoon. With the win the Lord Jeffs improve to 16-4-1 (14-2-1 NESCAC), while the loss drops the Pilgrims to 14-8-1 on the season.

Amherst entered Saturday’s game tied with Middlebury College atop the NESCAC standings at 13-2-1, but the Lord Jeff win coupled with a Panther loss lifted Amherst into first place with only two games remaining in the regular season.

Amherst—ranked 12th in the latest national poll—increased its winning streak to eight games and has now won 12 of its last 13 to climb the national rankings.

Amherst would start the scoring early as Baran would score just 1:58 into the opening period with assists by Keith Nelson (Manalapan, NJ) and Ted Vickers (Chilliwack, BC). The two teams would battle through the next 14 minutes scoreless before Vickers would net a power-play goal extending the Lord Jeff lead to 2-0. 

The Pilgrims would muster a goal late in the period as Jared Mullen slipped in a pass from Simon Laudon-Sorlin with just 57 minutes left in the period.

The two teams exchanged goals early in the second period as Baran would score his seventh of the season putting the Lord Jeffs up 3-1 at the 4:24 mark. NEC’s Niko Uola would get the goal back by scoring just under two minutes later as the Pilgrims again cut the Lord Jeff lead to one goal. 

The Lord Jeffs would quickly stretch their lead to 5-2 as Amherst would score back-to-back goals within 23 seconds of each other, including a goal by Matthew Rhone (Dedham, MA) and a score by Trip Wray (Walpole, MA).

The Pilgrims would have several opportunities in the final period, out-shooting the Lord Jeffs 13-8, but Amherst goalie Cole Anderson (Eckville, AB) would record 13 third-period saves to solidify the 5-2 victory.

Picking up the win in net for Amherst was Anderson, who finished with 27 saves.  In net for NEC was Aaron Harvey, who recorded 31 saves on the afternoon.

The Jeffs return to action Friday, Feb. 20, when they host Middlebury in a crucial conference game.