2012 NESCAC Men's Ice Hockey Championship
|Saturday, Feb. 25
||Saturday, March 3
||Sunday, March 4
|at No. 1 Amherst 6, No. 8 Hamilton 0
||No. 3 Middlebury 6, vs. No. 2 Bowdoin 3||at No. 1 Amherst 4, No. 3 Middlebury 3
|at No. 2 Bowdoin 2, No. 7 Trinity 1
||at No. 1 Amherst 2, No. 5 Williams 1
|at No. 3 Middlebury 2, No. 6 Wesleyan 1
|No. 5 Williams 4, at No. 4 Tufts 3 - OT
Amherst Outduels Middlebury for Men's Ice Hockey Championship
Courtesy Amherst Sports Information
AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst College overcame a 2-0 deficit by scoring four consecutive goals and getting clutch saves from NESCAC Player of the Year Jonathan La Rose en route to a 4-3 win in the NESCAC Men's Ice Hockey Championship finals Sunday afternoon at Orr Rink.
Andrew Kurlandski '14 gave Amherst a 3-2 lead 12:03 into the second period and Mike Moher '13 scored what held up as the game winner 7:09 later. The Panthers got to within one 11:15 into the final frame and nearly tied it up in the final minute, but La Rose came through with the save of the night.
Amherst improves to 23-3-1 and will receive the NESCAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, while Middlebury closes out the year at 14-10-3.
This is the second NESCAC title for the Lord Jeffs, who also defeated the Panthers in the 2009 title game in Orr Rink. Amherst bumped its win streak to 11 games and improved to 12-0-0 at home with its third one-goal victory over Middlebury this season.
Senior captain Charlie Strauss wrapped up his career by scoring two goals for the Panthers, who fell just shy of a ninth conference title. Middlebury won eight of its final 10 games of the season, with both losses coming to Amherst.
La Rose finished with 33 saves for Amherst, as the Panthers held a 36-22 advantage in shots on the day. First-year Dan Fullam stopped 18 shots for Middlebury.
Middlebury came out firing and needed only 3:21 to get on the board, as the Panthers became the first team in seven games to score against Amherst in the opening period. First-year George Ordway skated up the left side and let loose a crushing slap shot, beating La Rose on his blocker-side for a beautiful goal.
The Panthers then made it a 2-0 game by taking advantage of a power play 9:40 into the period. The visitors worked the puck down low on a long pass from the blue line, allowing Strauss to calmly slide a shot past La Rose and inside the right post for a two-goal Middlebury lead. Junior defenseman Mathieu Castonguay was credited with his eighth assist of the season on the play.
Amherst got one back in similar fashion at 14:02, as the Jeffs worked the puck down low while on the power play. Moher and Aaron Deutsch '15 picked up assists by finding Mark Colp '12 on the doorstep, allowing the senior forward to push a shot past Fullam. The Panthers carried a 2-1 lead into the first intermission with a 12-8 advantage in shots on goal.
The first period was dominated by Middlebury, but the second belonged to the Lord Jeffs, who scored three unanswered goals to carry a 4-2 lead into the third stanza. First-year Andrew Fenwick got things going when he lunged at a loose puck and deflected it to a wide open Brian Safstrom '14, who streaked in from the right and had plenty of net to shoot at. Fullam had no chance of making a stop, as Safstrom tied the game at 2-2 with 10:48 on the clock.
The Jeffs took their first lead less than three minutes later when Kurlandski came off the bench and immediately collected a loose puck, coming out of nowhere to beat Fullam with a backhanded shot at 12:03.
Amherst made it a 4-2 game after Middlebury was whistled for slashing with 59.9 seconds remaining in the period. An initial shot by Johnny Van Siclen '14 was knocked down by Fullam, but an unmarked Moher took advantage of an open net and gave the Jeffs some breathing room heading into the second intermission.
Middlebury came up empty on its first power play chance of the final period but would capitalize on its second opportunity, as the Panthers cut their deficit to one with 8:45 remaining in regulation. Castonguay swung the puck around to Charles Nerbak '12, who had his shot from just outside the left circle knocked away by La Rose. Strauss was there to quickly put home the rebound, with his second goal of the afternoon making it a 4-3 game.
The Panthers called a timeout and pulled Fullam with 1:39 remaining in regulation. It looked as though Middlebury had found the tying goal when Chris Steele fired a one-timer at what appeared to be an open net, but La Rose dove to his right across the crease and came up with a pivotal glove save.
Middlebury then had a goal waved off due to a high-sticking call with 50.8 seconds on the clock, resulting in a faceoff down at the other end. Fullam was pulled again with 32 seconds to go and the Panthers made one last push, but Amherst held on for the 4-3 final.
2012 NESCAC MEN'S ICE
Quarterfinals - Saturday, Feb. 25 at Higher Seeds
at No. 1 Amherst 6, No. 8 Hamilton 0
at No. 2 Bowdoin 2, No. 7 Trinity 1
at No. 3 Middlebury 2, No. 6 Wesleyan 1
No. 5 Williams 4, at No. 4 Tufts 3 - OT
Championship - Sunday,
at No. 1 Amherst 4, No. 3 Middlebury 3
2012 NESCAC MEN'S ICE HOCKEY
Quarterfinals - Saturday, Feb. 25
at Higher Seeds
No. 8 at No. 1
No. 7 at No. 2
No. 6 at No. 3
No. 5 at No. 4
Semifinals - Saturday, March
at Highest Remaining Seed
Championship - Sunday, March
The top eight teams in the conference will qualify for the NESCAC Men's Ice Hockey Championship. First round games will be conducted on Saturday, February 25, 2012 with the semifinals and championship games conducted on Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, respectively. The tournament champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship.
Format if Men and Women are
Playing at the Same Site
If both a men's and a women's first round game are being played at the same site, both games shall be played on Saturday with scheduled start times of 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. In odd years the men's game will be played first and in even years the women's game will be played first.
Semifinal and Championship
If both the men's and women's semifinals and finals are being played at the same site, one of the championships will be conducted Friday evening and Saturday evening. As the men's NCAA championship tournament starts earlier than the women's championship, the men's games will be played on Friday/Saturday (with game times of 4:00 p.m./7:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.) with the women's games played Saturday/Sunday (with game times of 12:30 p.m./3:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.).
Teams will be seeded based on games scheduled in conjunction with ECAC East. The top four seeds will host quarterfinal games with the one seed drawing the 8th seed, the 7th seed will play at the 2nd seed, the 6th seed will play at the 3rd seed, and the 5th seed will play at the 4th seed. The highest remaining seed after quarterfinal action will host both the semifinal and final rounds.
Pairings will be announced Sunday, February 19.
Tie Breaking Procedures
Ties will be broken as follows:
Head-to-head result (if teams play each other more than once during the regular season, the game that appears on the league schedule will be the game that is counted).
If teams tied during the regular season, or there is a 3-way or more tie, the following tie breaking procedure will be used:
Best record among tying teams, against one another (head-to-head).
Most conference wins (in games that are part of the conference schedule and count toward league standings).
Comparison of results of conference games played against top 4 teams (including all teams at the 4th spot).
Comparison of results of conference games played against top 8 teams (including all teams at the 8th spot).
Comparison of results of conference games played against conference teams in rank order.
Comparisons shall be made one team at a time starting with the highest ranked team.
If the tie remains after comparing results against the highest ranked team, the results against the next team in rank order shall be used. This process is continued until a winner is determined.
Coin flip (or similar random action involving all tied teams).
Note: In case of ties among three or more schools, the criteria above will be applied in order until a team is (or teams are) separated. At that point, the process begins anew (returning to the first criteria) with the remaining teams. The process is continued until the tie is eventually broken. In cases where only a random action will break the tie of three or more teams, the random action will be applied to all teams involved in the tie. For example, if three teams are tied and only a random action (pulling names out of a hat) will break the tie, each name will be pulled and seeded in order of being pulled. Also, in the event that there are two (or more) groups of teams tied at different spots in the standings and the only criteria left that can be used to break those ties is a coin flip/random action, the coin flip/random action used to break the tie of one group (to put teams in rank order) will not affect the tie breaking procedures of the other group(s) of tied teams.