Maine Hockey Journal

USM having a difficult time finding a win

Gorham, ME – Struggling to generate offense, the University of Southern Maine fell to Amherst, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon at the USM Ice Arena.

Southern Maine staggered into the game having lost seven of their last nine games. The offense has had trouble gaining traction during the games, having scored 10 goals in their last six games. With four of those goals coming against UMass-Boston back on Jan. 21.

USM had a breakaway chance early in the game, as senior Zach Joy was dragged down during a breakaway. A penalty was called, but the Huskies power play during the game was anemic to scoring.

The Huskies generated little to no chances on the five power play opportunities given to them over the course of the game.

“All the teams are locking in defensively this time of year,” USM Head Coach Jeff Beaney said. “We’re a little offensively challenged and the biggest issue is that our power play is snake bitten. We had power plays all during the game, and I’m not even sure we got a shot on the power play. I think everyone is trying too hard.”

After going through a scoreless first period in which the two teams combined for a total of 11 shots, Amherst crashed the net for a score with just under six minutes passed in the second period.

After a scrum ensued in front of USM goaltender Braely Torris, Amherst senior Matthew Rhone found the puck right in front of the crease and lifted one high past Torris’ shoulder pads for his team leading eighth goal of the season.

Amherst handled USM’s power plays with ease, forcing the Huskies into bad decisions, poor turnovers, and the inability to gain the Lord Jeffs’ blue line.

In the face of being limited offensively, USM was still down just one goal entering a pivotal third period.

The Huskies would remain down 1-0 more than halfway through the period.

Amherst senior Trip Wray would have none of those attempts, however, netting a goal 13:30 into the final period. Junior Mark Colp had fired one toward the net. Wray, who had great position in front of the crease, tipped in the goal, giving Amherst the critical two-goal cushion. Senior Luke Arnold was also in on the assist.

Being down a man would come back to hurt the Huskies again, this time with Amherst freshman Andrew Kurlandski delivering the blow. After setting up the power play, Lord Jeffs sophomore Mike Moher found Kurlandski from behind the net for the perfectly placed pass. Rhone was also in on the assist.

After the final whistle had blown Amherst had delivered three goals and a shutout; one night after surrendering a 5-3 win to the University of New England. Amherst goaltender Cole Anderson was stellar in the win, turning away 19 Huskies shots. Torris was defiant, even in defeat, allowing three goals on a tough 29 shots.

“I think they were motivated, and they played their good goalie for us. This is Anderson’s fourth year, and he’s probably been one of the top goalies in the NESCAC every year,” Beaney said.
USM is back at home on Friday against nationally ranked No. 4 Castleton.

Colby College – 6; Williams College – 3
Mike Doherty snapped a 3-3 tie late in the second period as part of three unanswered goals to lead Colby College to a 6-3 win over No. 9 ranked Williams College in NESCAC action on Saturday afternoon at Alfond Rink in Waterville.

The game winning goal by Doherty was his first of two on the night.

Colby moves to 7-9-1 overall (6-6-1 in NESCAC), while Williams falls to 10-5-2 overall (7-4-1 in NESCAC). The Ephs were in first place in the league heading into the weekend, before falling to Bowdoin College on Friday night.

The Mules opened the scoring in the first period on a goal by Nick Lanza, his first collegiate goal at the 9:51 mark of the first period.

Only 37 seconds later, Williams tied the game as Cody Skinner scored unassisted.

Wil Hartigan Jack Bartlett and Bill Crinnion, who added an empty net goal, scored for Colby.

The other goal scorers for Williams were Mike Brofft, Justin Troiani.

Colby goaltender Cody McKinney earned his 35th career victory with 20 saves.

Middlebury – 4; Bowdoin – 2
Goaltender John Yanchek made a season-high 31 saves to lead the Middlebury College men’s ice hockey team to a 4-2 victory over fifth-ranked Bowdoin on Saturday afternoon.

The Panthers deal Bowdoin its first home loss of the season and improve to 8-5-3 (6-4-2 NESCAC) while the Polar Bears fall to 13-4-0 (9-4-0 NESCAC) with the loss.

Martin Drolet scored the game-winning goal and added an assist for the Panthers while Kyle Shearer-Hardy tallied a goal and an assist for the Polar Bears.

Nerland made 29 saves in the loss for Bowdoin.

With files from Chris Roy

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