Amherst Shuts Out Hamilton in Men's Ice Hockey Quarterfinals
Courtesy Amherst Sports Information
AMHERST, Mass. - Six different Lord Jeffs scored a goal as the top-seeded Amherst men's hockey team cruised to a 6-0 victory over Hamilton College in a NESCAC quarterfinal game at Orr Rink.
With the win, Amherst (21-3-1, 17-1-0 NESCAC) earned its first conference semifinal berth in three years, while improving to 7-0-1 against Hamilton (8-14-3, 4-12-2 NESCAC) dating back to the 2005-06 campaign.
In the midst of a nine game win streak, the Lord Jeffs are now 11-0 in Orr Rink this season and will look to continue that trend when they play rival Williams in next weekend's semifinal round.
Scoreless after first 10 minutes, Amherst's Mike Moher '13 (Toronto, Ontario) and Eddie Effinger '12 (Belleville, Ill.) threatened to put the home team ahead, hacking away at a rebound on the doorstep of the Hamilton cage, but sophomore goaltender Joe Quattrocchi quickly smothered the puck in the crease to keep Jeffs off the board.
Continuing to go on the offensive, Effinger again charged toward the Hamilton net, skating in alone from the right circle before sneaking a shot past Quattrocchi to put Amherst on top at the 12:28 mark. Just 1:38 later, Jake Turrin '15 (Brewster, N.Y.) doubled the Lord Jeff lead, ripping a hard slap shot from the point through a screen for his first goal of the 2011-12 season.
Looking to add the tally with just over 15 minutes left in the second period, Moher eluded a Hamilton defenseman before skating toward the net uncontested, but Quattrocchi slid over, cutting down the angle to make the stop and keep the Continentals within two.
With under 12 to go in the middle frame, Nick Brunette '13 (Chaska, Minn.) again threatened to extend the Amherst lead, finding open space near the right circle before ripping a hard shot, but Quattrocchi stretched out to make a nice glove save.
After hitting the post moments earlier just under the 10 minute mark, Moher finally made it 3-0 with his team high 12th goal of the year. Catching Hamilton in a line change, the junior forward skated up the left side on an odd man rush before calmly moving between the circles and backhanding a shot into the upper left corner at 10:28.
Just 1:31 later, Mike Cashman '15 (Abington, Mass.) took a chance on a short-handed opportunity, testing Quattrocchi with a shot from the left side. With the Hamilton netminder unable to control the rebound, an alert Brunette pounced on the loose puck, burying his fifth goal of the year.
Still down 4-0 with less that 11 minutes remaining in regulation, Hamilton drew a penalty with hopes of hopes of getting on the board, but Amherst's penalty-killing unit, ranked fifth nationally, held steady, helping to preserve the shutout.
Dylan Trumble '13 (Calgary, Alberta) upped the lead to 5-0 after burying a wrister from the slot at 13:33 before Johnny Van Siclen '13 (Carlisle, Mass) capped off the scoring with a power play tally at 17:03.
Senior Jonathan La Rose (Boyle, Alberta) recorded his fifth shutout of the year, making 19 saves, while Quattrocchi made 29 stops. During the Jeffs' nine game win streak, La Rose, the NESCAC's reigning Co-Player of the Week, has posted an 8-0-0 record, stopping 217 of the last 222 shots he has faced (0.977).