Men's Ice Hockey Bests St. Michael's 4-2 in Home Opener

Matt Rhone scored a pair of power-play goals
in a 4-2 win over St. Michael's this evening.
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s ice hockey took to the ice of Orr Rink this evening for the 2008-09 season home opener against the visiting Purple Knights of Saint Michael’s College. The Lord Jeffs scored a pair of goals in each of the first two periods, and held off a third period charge from St. Michael’s for a 4-2 win.

Amherst had the first scoring chance as senior Brendan Powers (Walpole, MA) found himself alone in front of the Purple Knights goal. Powers got off a snap shot, but St. Mike’s goaltender Brendan Rimmer was able to keep the puck out of his net with a nice leg save just over three minutes in.

The Knights responded with a breakaway by Alex Higgins. The junior forward elected to take a slap shot as he went in alone on Amherst goaltender Jonathan La Rose (Boyle, Alberta), but the Lord Jeff stopper was up to the task and brushed away the bid and the ensuing rebound attempt.

Amherst junior Andrew Stevenson (Newton, MA) was whistled for the game’s first penalty with just 12 minutes to play in the first period, but the Jeffs killed off the St. Mike’s power play without surrendering a scoring chance. With 8:29 to play in the period, Amherst sophomore Trip Wray (Walpole, MA) drew a slashing penalty from St. Mike’s Pat McGuirk.

Amherst needed just 1:05 on the power play before senior defender Shane Lennox (N. Vancouver, BC) punched home his first goal of the season, and just the third of his career. Powers and first-year Mark Colp (Wareham, MA) picked up the helpers on the score.

The Lord Jeffs went on the power play with 4:17 remaining in the period, and scored an even-strength goal just two seconds after the St. Mike’s player was released from the penalty box. Colp picked up the score, his second collegiate goal, with Powers and junior Keith Nelson (Manalapan, NJ) taking home the assists.

Amherst increased its lead to 3-0 just 2:30 into the second period on another power play score. Sophomore Matt Rhone (Dedham, MA) scored off assists from seniors Joel Covelli (Carlisle, ON) and Rylan Burns (Jasper, AB),

With 4:55 to play in the second period, Rhone pumped home his second power play goal of the game on assists from Covelli and first-year Eddie Effinger (Belleville, MO) to put Amherst up 4-0.

La Rose got a hand from first-year defender Jimmy Deutsch (Huntington, NY) late in the second period, as the rookie poked a deflected shot just wide of the goal mouth to keep St. Michael’s off the board.

Early in the third period the Purple Knights got on the board as Pat McGuirk was sent in alone on La Rose. The junior put a quick wrist shot off the underside of the crossbar for the goal, to close the gap to 4-1.

St. Michael’s cut into the Amherst advantage with 2:10 to play in regulation as junior Zach Gieszler put home a score from close range. The goal was the final one of the game, as Amherst held on for the 4-2 win. La Rose finished with 21 saves for the Jeffs, while Tyler Bilton turned away 49 shots for the Knights.

The Lord Jeffs improve to 3-2 on the year, while St. Michael’s falls to 1-3. Amherst will host 6th-ranked Norwich tomorrow for a 3 p.m. game.