Maher Saves 23 as Springfield Shuts Down #13 Amherst

Springfield, Mass. - April 10, 2012 - Powered by Rob Maher's career-high 23 saves, Springfield College shut down 13th-ranked Amherst, 9-6, on Tuesday evening on Stagg Field in a clash of local rivals. The win boosts Springfield's record to 7-3 this season, while the Lord Jeffs lost for the third time in four games to fall to 8-3.

Maher was remarkable between the pipes, finishing the night with 23 saves, including nine in the fourth quarter. Offensively, Shane Ferguson was equally as impressive, posting four goals and two assists. Ryon Lynch added two goals and two helpers, while both Ryan Murphy and Eric Balslov posted a goal and an assist each. Branden Fernandez had a team-best six ground balls, and Ross Marchegiani and Tim Cimini each caused three turnovers.

For the Lord Jeffs, Sam Jakimo was also very strong in goal, finishing the evening with 16 saves. Alex Fox scored a team-best two goals, and Devin Action recorded a goal and a helper. Duncan Morrissey won 10 of 19 face-offs and scooped up a game-high seven ground balls.

Springfield scored the opening goal of the game at the 13:16 mark after Ferguson dodged to his right and ripped a shot into the top right corner. Amherst answered back with their only goal of the opening 15 minutes of play with 9:40 on the clock as Fox got free and bounced home a shot down low.

Lynch stepped into a Murphy feed and let one fly from 10 yards out to regain Springfield's lead at the 2:21 mark. Maher would make one of his many highlight reel stops to end the first as he snuffed out a point-blank bid on Eric Rein with 21 ticks on the clock to keep it a one-goal game after the first quarter.

With 7:28 on the clock in the second, Amherst's Cole Cherney buried a man-up strike from Devin Acton to tie the game for the last time in the evening.

Ferguson put the Pride back on top with 3:41 left in the first half following a terrific effort. The senior midfielder muscled through a tough check before stinging a shot from 10 yards. The Pride added a goal with just 13 seconds left in the quarter to head into the half up 4-2. Following a great clear from Jake McGuiness, Lynch snapped a pass to a cutting Dylan Sheehan for the strike.

Amherst's Dan Routh scored the first goal of the second half with 6:28 on the clock as he beat his man to the right, and slipped a shot underneath a sprawling Maher.

The Pride responded with a spirited run, tallying three goals in a 1:45 span to take a 7-3 lead and force the Lord Jeffs into a time out. The run started after Mike Delia picked up a great ground ball at 40 yard line following a save on a Baslov shot. Delia zipped a 30 yard pass to Lynch, who connected with Ferguson on the run for his hat trick at 4:02. Just 43 ticks later, a tremendous look along the goal line extended by Sheehan resulted in a man-up goal from Murphy, The Pride tacked on another goal with 2:19 after Baslov found the top shelf on a look from Ferguson.

Maher put his stamp on the end of the third quarter with a sprawling save as the horn sounded to give Springfield a 7-3 lead after three quarters of action.

Ferguson's factored in on both of the Pride's fourth-quarter markers. He scored his fourth of the night with 11:30 to play before using a great pass to find Lynch on the crease to provide the Pride with its largest lead of the game, 9-3, with 8:12 left.

Amherst did not go away quietly and scored three straight goals to make it a 9-6 contest with 1:06 left in regulation. Unassisted goals from Acton and Fox sandwiched a man-up goal from Routh to make things interesting. The Lord Jeffs won the ensuing face-off to gain possession with under a minute to play before calling timeout. However, Maher slammed the door shut with three sensational saves, including a diving stop across the crease.

The Pride will look to carry its momentum into Pilgrim League action on Saturday when it travels to take on Mass. Maritime.

2012-04-10



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