PAXTON, Mass – Riding a two-game win streak with wins over Albertus Magnus and Regis on the road, the 'Cats hosted Rivier University in Great Northeast Athletic Conference play on Wednesday on AMCAT Field. The Raiders, sitting one spot ahead of the AMCATS in the GNAC standings, came in looking to snap the AMC win streak while Anna Maria was looking to move up a spot in the conference standings. At the end of the night, the Raiders narrowly squeaked past the hosts 7-6.
For the AMCATS, leading the way offensively was freshman Jake Klemba who netted three goals in the game. Leading scorer on the year for the 'Cats, Brandon Pavoni scored one on the evening. He was joined in the one goal club by sophomore Brady Seymour and freshman Cameron Perry. Perry also had an assist in the game. Colton Layman and faceoff man Tyler Cheverier each had an assist in the game as well. It was Cheverier's first point of the season. Reigning GNAC Goalie of the Week, Paul Schwarz allowed seven goals in the game but made 29 saves on 36 shots he faced.
The Raiders had three players lead the way with two goals apiece. Joe Kelland, Colby Larson, and Liam Ryan were those goal scorers. Larson also added an assist to his score line. Scoring the seventh goal for Riv was Sean Brady who also had an assist. Rob Fullerton accumulated four assists in the game for the visitors. Goalie Matt Cloutman saw 20 shots from the sticks of the AMCATS and made 14 saves, allowing six goals.
The AMCATS scored the first goal of the game a minute and a half in to the first as Klemba netted his first, unassisted. It took nearly 12 minutes, but the Raiders answered with a goal of their own with two minutes remaining in the period as Ryan scored to even the game at a goal apiece. Just nine seconds later, Seymour scored which was assisted by Cheverier directly off the faceoff he had just won. At the end of one quarter the AMCATS had a 2-1 advantage over their guests.
In the second, the 'Cats would extend their lead as they went on a three goal unanswered run in the quarter, four unanswered going back to the first. Pavoni started the action in the 2nd, scoring with 13:36 on the clock in a man-up situation, with the assist coming from Layman. Just past the halfway mark of the period, Perry scored, unassisted, to open up a three-goal lead for the 'Cats. 30 seconds later, Klemba netted his second to close out the scoring in the period and give Anna Maria a 5-1 lead heading in to the half time break.
The third quarter, and the entire second half, went differently than the first. The AMCATS four goal unanswered run was snapped two minutes in to the third quarter with Larson scoring from Rob Fullerton. The two would hook up again two minutes later as Larsen netted his second to cut the lead to two. Rivier continued their scoring on slot, cutting the AMC lead to one on a Kelland goal, from Larson, at the 10:21 mark. Now 5-4 and the lead slipping away for the AMCATS, Klemba gave them hope scoring his third to open the lead back out to two goals. Then, with 24 seconds left on clock in the third, Kelland scored again closing the gap once more. The AMCATS still had a lead but a slim one compared to the end of the first half, 6-5, going in to the fourth.
There were only two goals scored in the fourth, both by Rivier. The Raiders defense held the AMCAT offense at bay and it would prove disastrous for Anna Maria. With 13:02 left in the game, Ryan tied the game up at six apiece. Neither team would score for the next 12 or so minutes and it looked like the game was headed in to overtime, until the AMCATS turned the ball over in their offensive zone and the Raiders charged down the other end of the field and with 14 seconds left on the clock, Brady netted the game winner. Riv won the ensuing faceoff and ran the clock out, getting the comeback win, once down four goals, 7-6 in conference over the AMCATS.
The AMCATS are back on the field Saturday in Boston when they take on Emmanuel College in GNAC play at 3pm.