MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Senior tri-captains Darce Swaggert and Chris Orszulak scored during a frenetic 24-second span in the second period to spark Amherst to a 3-0 win over Bowdoin in the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament Friday afternoon.
Amherst senior goaltender Nick Rieser posted 16 saves en route to his third shutout of the season as the Jeffs — ranked sixth in the nation in the latest USCHO.com Division III poll — improved to 18-4-3 with their sixth consecutive victory.
Senior forward Jim Smith, who was named the NESCAC Player of the Year on Thursday, added an insurance tally in the third period to ice the game for Amherst.
Smith, the Jeffs’ leading scorer with 36 points, is now tied with teammate Bob Miele, a second-team All-NESCAC selection, for the team lead with 13 goals.
Amherst awaits the winner of Friday’s second NESCAC semifinal matchup between sixth-seeded Hamilton and top-seeded Middlebury, with the championship game set for Saturday at 7 p.m.
Middlebury is the top-ranked team in the nation and a heavy favorite to win the NESCAC title. Amherst and Middlebury have met twice this season with the Panthers winning both matchups: 1-0 at Amherst on Jan. 5 and 6-3 at Middlebury on Feb. 6.