Late Goals Lift Amherst Over Men's Hockey

February 19, 2012

Amherst scored two third period goals to pick up a 2-1 road win at Middlebury in the regular season finale for both teams. The Panthers (12-9-3, 11-6-1) are the third seed for the upcoming NESCAC Tournament, and will host Wesleyan in a quarterfinal game next Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Third-ranked Amherst (20-3-1, 17-1) enters the tourney as the top seed and will host #8 Hamilton on Saturday.

Middlebury has some quality chances midway through the period, as Michael Longo was denied before Jonathan LaRose made a big save on the follow up attempt by Thomas Freyre. Middlebury’s Charlie Strauss saw a nice wrister from the left wing denied at 13:00, while Dan Fullam came up big on Amherst’s Erik Hansen on the other end of the ice as he broke in alone. The period ended with the Panthers holding an 11-4 shots advantage.

Middlebury jumped on the board 3:05 into the second period when Trevor Pollock scored his fourth of the season with a blast from the right point on the power play. The Panthers continued to pepper the Amherst net, with some great scoring chances midway through the period. Freyre nearly netted his second of the game at the 11:05 mark after a scramble, before Chris Brown’s blast from the right point was denied by LaRose. Brown had another great chance with 2:55 to go driving to the goal from the left side, but his first shot and follow up were both stopped. The Panthers outshot the Jeffs 17-4 in the period.

Amherst came out charging in the third period, putting several shots on the Panther net. Holding a 9-0 shots advantage the first 10 minutes of play, the Jeffs took advantage of their 10th shot to tie the game at 1-1. Mike Rowbotham spun away from a defender behind the net and then banked a shot in off Fullam from behind the goal line for this sixth of the season.

The Panthers had a chance to regain the lead on a power play at the 12:44 mark, but instead gave up a shorthanded tally. Andrew Kurlandski skated up the right wing and cut to the goal with a shot to the top left corner on the breakaway. The goal was his seventh of the year, the first shorthanded.

Middlebury pulled Fullam (19 saves) at the 18:40 mark, with Charles Nerbak getting a good look from the point with a glove save from LaRose (30 saves). The Panthers had 30.7 seconds of six-on-four play after a Jeff penalty late. The game ended with a scramble in the crease after a shot from Longo was saved, as LaRose covered a loose puck as time expired. Amherst held an 11-3 shots advantage in the third period, with Middlebury outshooting the Jeffs 31-21 in the game.

Box Score