Jeffs Fall to No. 5 Norwich, 5-1
Contact: Ben Badua
NORWICH, Vt. – The 15th-ranked Amherst men’s hockey team fell to 7-3-0 on the season with a 5-1 loss to No. 5 Norwich University (9-1-2) in the championship game of the Northfield Bank Holiday Tournament at Kreitzberg Arena.
Holding a 16-4 edge in shots over the first 20 minutes, Norwich wasted little time getting on the board. Netting his first goal of the season, Nevin Lawler ’15 staked the Cadets to an early edge with a goal at 12:58 off assists from Dmitry Ermakov ’17 and Austin Surowiec ’17.
Taking advantage of a power play in the latter stages of the period, Amherst pulled even. Converting a feed from Aaron Deutsch ’15, Brendan Burke ’16 found the back of the net for the fourth time this season, knotting the contest at a goal apiece with just 38 seconds remaining in the opening frame.
Outshooting the Purple & White 10-8 in the second, the Cadets tacked on a pair of goals. Paul Russell ’17 got things started by putting away his sixth of the year just 1:32 into the stanza. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the middle period, Norwich upped the margin to two goals by recording a power play score on sophomore Ryan Whitell’s third of the season.
Continuing to apply pressure, Norwich held a 13-7 edge in shots in the final period. With just over 12 minutes remaining in regulation, the home team nearly added to its tally. Coming up right side on an odd-man rush, William Pelletier ’17 looked to have a chance at an open net on the near post, but Amherst goaltender Dave Cunningham ’16 quickly slid across the crease to kick away the try.
Minutes later, Pelletier solved the Jeff goaltender, beating Cunningham with a hard slap shot from the high slot. With less than four minutes on the board, Shane Gorman ’14 closed out the scoring, sneaking a wrister past Cunningham’s glove at 16:18.
Norwich finished with a 39-19 shot advantage, while winning 32-of-55 face-offs and going 2-for-5 on the power play. Cunningham made 34 saves in the loss, while Matic Marsinek ’15 had 18 stops. Amherst’s Burke and Topher Flanagan ’16 were each named to the All-Tournament team, while Pelletier picked up Most Valuable Player honors.
The Jeffs return to action on Friday, Jan. 10 at Colby.