AMHERST, Mass. — Rivals Amherst and Babson opened the regular season by skating to a 0-0 tie Friday night.
Both goaltenders were stellar in net as Amherst junior Justin Jagher made 32 saves and Beaver senior Greg Berard stopped 33 shots on the night. The two teams had many opportunities but were unable to capitalize throughout the game.
The game opened with players flying up and down the ice. The tempo slowed a bit after a five-minute delay due to a scoreboard malfunction. When play resumed, so did the intensity, as big hits were thrown by players on both sides. Both teams had chances on the power play, as the Jeffs went 0-for-4, while the Beavers went 0-for-5.
Babson sophomore forward Rob Harvey had the best chance to score in the opening period, as he chipped a shot from point-blank range, only to have the puck smothered by Jagher.
The second period provided a wealth of physical play as Amherst junior forward Erik DiNardo set the tone with a crippling hit on a Beaver player, sending him flying head-first into the boards. Amherst sophomore defenseman John McNicholas and first year defenseman William Jenkins also stepped up the intensity on the defensive end, holding Babson to a slew of bad-angle shots. The period ended with words and a little shoving in front of the Beaver net, a preview of what was to come in the third period.
The final period of regulation opened with Jagher fighting off a swarm of Babson players to notch his 21st save of the game. Babson had a few more opportunities to score but found many of its shots either missing the net or snagged by Jagher.
The only trouble the junior goaltender faced was on a blue-line slapper by Babson junior forward Joe Giantonio that Jaher deflected with his blocker, sending the puck wide of the net.
Both teams also had their share of opportunities in overtime. Babson senior forward Corey Zahner missed a pass from Giantonio that would have given him an easy chip-in goal. The Jeffs’ best chance came when first year forward Mike Kreger tried to beat Berard glove-side but missed the top corner of the net from in between the circles.