Brunette, Rowbotham Power Jeffs Past Middlebury
Courtesy of Middlebury Sports Information
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Nick Brunette ’13 netted what proved to be the game winner 12:10 into the second period as the 12th-ranked Amherst men’s hockey team handed No. 11 Middlebury its first NESCAC loss of the season (4-2-2, 3-1-2) with a 4-2 victory at Kenyon Arena.
Picking up their fourth-straight victory over the Panthers, the Jeffs improved to 5-3-1 on the year and 4-2-0 in league play.
Amherst had a great chance early on, but Erik Hansen ’14 was denied on a breakaway by sophomore goaltender Dan Fullam. Staying aggressive, the Jeffs broke through at the 5:37 mark when Mike Rowbotham ’15 found space and scored with a backhander. The Panthers evened the game when Derek Pimentel ’15 fed Louis Belisle ’14 on the left side for a quick wrister at 7:40.
Searching for the go-ahead goal, Pimental nearly gave the Panthers the advantage early in the second period, but his shot rattled off the crossbar. Coming back the other way, the Jeffs took a 2-1 edge at 6:59 when Rowbotham found Brian Safstrom ’14 from behind the net for the quick goal. Amherst later made it a 3-1 game when Brunette charged to the front of the net and put away his first tally of the season at the 12:10 mark.
Looking to keep pace, Middlebury made it a one-goal game 5:50 into the third with a power play goal. Pimental centered a pass that found its way past Amherst senior netminder Nathan Corey to a wide-open Ronald Fishman ’16 on the far post for his first collegiate score.
Down 3-2, the Panthers nearly tied the game shortly thereafter, but Pimental was denied by Corey. A Middlebury power play followed, but the home team was still unable to tie the game. Amherst sealed the contest late with an empty net goal as a centering pass from Conor Brown ’16 deflected in off Johnny Van Siclen ’13 into the cage.
With Middlebury holding a 26-23 shots advantage, Corey made 24 saves en route to his fourth victory, while Fullam made 19 stops in his first action of the season.
The Lord Jeffs return to action on Dec. 28-29 at the Cardinal Classic hosted by SUNY Plattsburgh.