Jeffs Shut Out St. Michael's, 4-0
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. – Four different Jeffs scored as the Amherst men’s hockey team cruised to a 4-0 victory over St. Michael’s College at Orr Rink.
Ranked 10th in the latest USCHO poll, the Jeffs improved to 5-0-0 on the season and 5-0 over their Northeast-10 foe over the last five meetings. The Purple Knights dropped to 0-6-0 on the year with the loss.
Converting an early power play opportunity, Aaron Deutsch’15 ripped a shot from just inside the blue line through a screen, beating junior goaltender Dave Donzanti at 4:49. Still on the man-advantage because of a five-minute game misconduct, Amherst added to its tally a minute later. Finding open space in front, Andrew Kurlandski ’14 redirected a Kevin Ryder ’16 shot into the back of net for his third of the season, doubling the Jeff lead.
Holding a slim 9-8 shot advantage in the first period, Amherst hoped to pad its cushion shortly following the intermission. Skating up the right side on an odd-man rush, Ryan Edwards ’14 slotted a pass across the crease to Erik Hansen ’14. One-timing the puck toward net, Hansen nearly added to the margin, but Donzanti quickly slid to the back-post, getting a pad on the try to keep the Purple Knights within two.
Keeping the pressure on, Amherst buried its third goal 7:12 into the second stanza. Winning a face-off in the left circle, Andrew Fenwick ’15 played the puck back to Edwards. Putting a hard shot on target, the senior notched his third goal in two games. Five minutes later, the Jeffs caused a turnover in the neutral zone. Racing up ice on a breakaway, Daniel Merenich ’15 went to his backhand at the left post. Getting a piece of the attempt, Donzanti almost came away with a big save, but the puck tipped off his glove and trickled over the goal line at 12:11.
St. Michael’s AJ Pieprzak ’15 intercepted a pass between the circles and put a rising shot on net from point-blank range early in the final frame, but senior goalie Johnny Russell smothered the try to keep the Purple Knights off the board. With less than six minutes remaining in regulation, William Cote ’15 came in alone on a shorthanded breakaway, but Russell once again made the stop to preserve the shutout.
Amherst, which finished with a 29-24 shot advantage, scored on two of its four power play opportunities, while holding St. Michael’s to a 0-for-2 clip on the man-advantage. Russell recorded 24 saves in his first collegiate start, while Donzanti made 25 stops.
The Jeffs return to action on Saturday, Nov. 30 at Babson.