Men's hockey falls at No. 12 Amherst
Amherst College's Mike Rowbotham posted one goal and one assist and the nationally ranked No. 12 Lord Jeffs recorded a 3-1 NESCAC win against the Hamilton College Continentals at Amherst's Orr Rink on Friday night.
The Jeffs (11-3-2, 7-3-0 NESCAC) defeated Hamilton by the same score in the season opener for both teams back on Nov. 15. Amherst improved to 7-1-0 at home this season.
Brendan Burke and Dan Merenich scored one goal apiece, and Danny Vitale made 24 saves for the Jeffs. Five players were credited with one assist.
Brad Smelstor '17 scored his second goal this season and the fourth of his Hamilton career. Bennett Hambrook '17 and Seamus O'Neill '17 picked up the assists. O'Neill is from Amherst, Mass. Evan Buitenhuis '18 turned away 28 shots in his first game in goal since suffering an injury on Nov. 28. Buitenhuis has a 1.45 goals against average and .957 save percentage in four starts.
Merenich gave Amherst a 1-0 lead on his fifth goal with 3:14 left in the first period. Andrew Fenwick and Xavier Louis Reed had the assists.
Rowbotham's sixth goal gave the Jeffs a two-goal cushion with 22 seconds remaining in the second period. David White and Conor Brown registered assists on the goal, which was scored just 17 seconds after an Amherst power play ended.
Smelstor cut the Continentals' deficit in half with 6:04 to go in the third period when he delivered a blast from just inside the blue line into the far left corner of the net.
Hamilton (5-6-4, 4-4-2) pulled Buitenhuis for an extra skater with 1:31 left but Burke shot the puck into an empty net and clinched the win for the Jeffs with seven seconds remaining.
Both teams went 0-f0r-2 on the power play. Amherst held a 31-25 shot advantage.
The Continentals host Franklin Pierce University for a non-conference game -- and the first meeting between the programs -- on Saturday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m.