Amherst Scores Six in the Third for 6-0 Win Over Williams

By Rory O'Connor '09

Joel Covelli had a team-high three points on his Senior Day.
AMHERST, MA – The 12th-ranked Amherst College men’s hockey team scored six third-period goals on its way to a 6-0 victory over NESCAC and Little Three archrival Williams College (14-8-2, 12-5-2 NESCAC). With the win, and the top seed in the NESCAC tournament already secure, Amherst extends its winning streak to 10 games and ends the regular season with an 18-4-1 (16-2-1 NESCAC) record.  

Before the game, Amherst acknowledged the seven members of the Class of 2009.  Olufemi Amurawaiye (Whitby, ON), Joel Covelli (Carlisle, ON), Brendan Powers (Walpole, MA), Jeff Landers (Hanover, MA), Rylan Burns (Jasper, AB), Will Collins (Edina, MN) and Shane Lennox (N. Vancouver, BC) comprise the class of graduating seniors that will leave Amherst as one of the most successful classes in program history.

The first period began with some strong physical play by Williams, but Amherst had the first scoring chance of the game.  With 13:00 left in the period, Luke Arnold (Lincoln, MA) burst down the right wing to find himself 1-on-1 with a Williams defender.  After some impressive stick handling, Arnold found himself in on goal only to have a recovering defenseman deflect his attempt over the crossbar.  

After an interference call against Amherst 2:46 into the second period, Lord Jeff goaltender Jonathan La Rose (Boyle, AB) made a pair of spectacular saves, one off a deflected slap shot and another off the rebound to help kill off the penalty.  La Rose would go on to make 16 saves in the period, while Amherst mustered seven shots during the second frame.  

Amherst skated onto the ice in the third period as an inspired bunch.  On a day dedicated to the Class of 2009, it was three members of that class who managed to break the deadlock only one minute in.  After Covelli fed Powers in front of the goal, the senior forward instinctively laid the puck off for the streaking Collins to give Amherst the eventual game-winner.  

After first-year Eddie Effinger (Belleville, MO) scored a power-play goal 2:50 into the period, it was senior captain Jeff Landers who capitalized on another power play to put the Lord Jeffs up 3-0.  After receiving the puck at the blue line from junior Keith Nelson (Manalapan, NJ), Landers flung the puck on net to take advantage of some superlative post up play by the indomitable Teddy Vickers (Chilliwack, BC).  

With 13:17 left in regulation, Effinger tallied his second goal of the game by fantastically batting the puck out of the air off a Covelli feed, putting the Jeffs up 4-0.  Covelli and first-year Mark Colp (Wareham, MA) would go on to add a goal each completing a dominant third period.  

At the end of the bout, La Rose finished with 29 saves, earning his second shutout of the season.  Ryan Purdy finished with 24 saves for the Ephs, before being replaced by Rick Redmond, who finished with seven saves.  

The Lord Jeffs begin their postseason slate next Saturday against Tufts University.  The NESCAC quarterfinal match will commence at Orr Rink with a start time of 1 p.m.