#4 Amherst to Host #6 Hobart in NCAA Quarterfinals
AMHERST, MA – Amherst College will host an NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament game for the second time in a span of four days when the Lord Jeffs take on Hobart College on Saturday, Mar. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Orr Rink.
Fans unable to attend Saturday’s game can follow a live webcast with audio and video feeds available. Tickets will be $5 for adults and $3 for students and children, and will be sold at Orr Rink with doors opening at 6 p.m.
In a year of several program records and firsts, Amherst (22-4-1) added another accomplishment to the list when the Jeffs earned a 4-1 win over Babson College this past Wednesday to mark the first NCAA Tournament victory in program history. Amherst had qualified for the national tournament only once before, when in 1999 the Jeffs suffered a pair of losses to RIT in a best-of-three series during the quarterfinal round.
Wednesday’s matchup with Babson was the first NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament game ever played at Orr Rink. The fourth-ranked Jeffs will once again put their unbeaten home record (12-0-1) on the line when the sixth-ranked Statesmen come to town on Saturday.
Amherst and Hobart have met three times in the past 10 years, all of which came during the regular season. The Lord Jeffs earned a 3-2 win at home on Jan. 16, 1999, before the Statesmen returned to Amherst during the 2004-05 season to capture a 5-2 victory. The teams faced off again on Dec. 10, 2005, when the Jeffs suffered a 4-2 loss on Hobart’s home ice.
Amherst’s defense continues to dominate the headlines as the Jeffs have allowed a combined four goals in four postseason games. All-NESCAC Second Team selection Jonathan La Rose made 48 saves during Amherst’s win over Babson, giving him an incredible .992 save percentage and 0.33 goals-against average in his past three games. La Rose leads Division III in both categories on the year, stopping 95.6 percent of shots faced with a 1.39 GAA. Classmate Cole Anderson has been just as dominant and is close behind with a .954 save percentage and 1.49 GAA.
The Amherst Class of 2009 tied a program record for wins by a graduating class when the Jeffs advanced to the national quarterfinals with their 14th consecutive victory. This year’s senior class—Brendan Powers, Jeff Landers, Rylan Burns, Shane Lennox, Will Collins, Joel Covelli, Femi Amurawaiye—is 62-34-6 (.637) as a group, matching the 62 victories the Class of 2001 racked up in its four years.
In addition to leading the nation in defenseman scoring (1.52 ppg), Landers enters Saturday’s game with 97 career points. Landers, Powers, Collins and Covelli each had two points against Babson, with Burns adding an assist of his own. Amherst trailed for only 36 seconds in the game before rattling off four unanswered goals.
The Hobart Statesmen (20-6-2) finished the regular season with an 18-5-2 record before going 1-1 in the ECAC West Championship. A 3-1 win over Manhattanville in the conference semifinals was followed by a heartbreaking loss to Neumann in the finals. Tied at 2-2 with overtime approaching, Hobart allowed the game-winner with only 4.3 seconds showing on the clock.
Their impressive record and résumé earned the Statesmen one of five at-large bids to the NCAA Championship, marking the fourth appearance in the national tournament in program history. In Wednesday’s opening round, Hobart hosted Nichols College—its first ever home NCAA Tournament game—and used a two-goal second period to cruise into the quarterfinals with a 3-0 victory.
Leading the Statesmen is head coach Mark Taylor, who was named the ECAC-West Co-Coach of the Year. Also earning ECAC-West honors were junior forward Nick DeCroo, senior goaltender Keith Longo and senior defenseman Andy Brennan, who each garnered All-Conference First Team recognition. DeCroo (20-9-29) and Bobby Cahill (9-20-29) lead Hobart with 29 points each, while Longo’s .937 save percentage is the fourth best in Division III. The Statesmen average 4.25 goals per game while allowing only 2.32, both of which are the 10th best averages in the nation.
The winner of Saturday’s game will punch its ticket to the Frozen Four, which will take place on Friday, Mar. 20 at the Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, NY. The national title game is set for Saturday, Mar. 21.
NCAA Championship First Round
Wednesday, Mar. 11
Amherst def. Babson, 4-1
Hobart def. Nichols, 3-0
NCAA Championship Quarterfinal Round
Saturday, Mar. 14
Wisconsin-Superior vs. Gustavus Adolphus
Wisconsin-Stout vs. Saint Scholastica
Plattsburgh State vs. Neumann
Amherst vs. Hobart