BOSTON, MA -- The Williams College men's hockey rallied for four third-period goals Tuesday night to defeat conference rival Trinity, 4-2, at Fenway Park.
Three quick goals in the opening six minutes of the third period by the Williams College (7-1-2, 5-0-2 NESCAC) men's ice hockey team lifted the Ephs from a 2-0 deficit to a 3-2 lead and an empty net goal by Craig Kitto gave the Ephs a 4-2 win over Trinity College (7-3-0, 3-2-0).
George Hunkele scored the first Eph goal, which was quickly followed by a Nick Anderson tally. Hunkele then tipped in a wrist shot by Frankie Mork off a set up from Zander Masucci to net the game-winner, before Craig Kitto iced the game with the empty netter.
The NESCAC contest was played outdoors in historic Fenway Park. Historic Fenway Park as part of the 2014 Frozen Fenway series.
Emotions were high for both teams for this outdoor affair and both teams hit the ice running from the initial drop of the puck.
The first goal of the game found the back of the net fairly quickly into the first period. After a smooth breakout of their defensive zone, Trinity had numbers charging down the ice. Four Bantams came down on only two Eph defenders. Great puck movement down the entire length the ice opened up enough room for star junior forward, Jackson Brewer, to fire a wrist shot past Eph junior goaltender, Sean Dougherty at the 4:35 mark. Assists were awarded to freshman forward, Sean Orlando, and sophomore forward, Mike Hawkrigg.
Following the goal, much of the period was filled with tough, blue-collar transition hockey and neither team was able to generate any real good scoring threats.
The best scoring chance Williams generated in the period took place with about five minutes remaining in the opening period. Sophomore forward, Matt Werner, found the puck on his stick in close in the slot and fired toward the goal. The shot was deflected and soared over the net to end the scoring chance.
Late in the period Trinity nearly popped in another goal to add to their lead. Several Bantam forwards were out front and one nearly got his stick on a redirect but the puck was just out of reach.
Trinity senior goaltender, Ben Coulthard, stopped all six shots he faced from the Ephs while Dougherty stopped three out of the four shots he faced. Both teams headed down through the dugouts into their respective locker rooms with the score Trinity 1, Williams 0.
Early on in the second period, Trinity found themselves on the power play after a Williams penalty. The Bantams were able to generate several chances with the
man-advantage but Dougherty was there to put a stop to any scoring threat.
Following the successful penalty-kill, the Ephs found a sudden spring in their step and dominated play all the way until the halfway point in the period. The puck remained in the Bantam zone and the Ephs rapidly generated twelve shots with constant pressure on Coulthard. Coulthard remained perfect, stopping each Eph scoring chance.
Despite constant pressure by Williams, the momentum of the game changed in favor of Trinity after another Williams interference penalty by junior forward, Alex DeBaere. After seizing control of the puck on the power play, junior defenseman, Mike Flynn, took a slap shot from the point that Dougherty initially stopped. Junior forward, Liam McKillop, was out front hacking in an attempt to shove the rebound into the back of the net. McKillop's efforts produced a bouncing puck on the other side of the crease where freshman forward, Sean Orlando, was well-positioned to put away the rebound to further the Trinity lead to 2-0. Time of the goal was 11:48 with assists being awarded to Flynn and McKillop.
A key chance for the Ephs to cut their deficit in half came with just under two minutes left in the period. DeBaere, found himself on a breakaway and made a move on Coulthard. Before DeBaere could drag the puck onto his backhand, Coulthard aggressively poke-checked the puck away to end the scoring threat.
Dougherty stopped nine of the ten shots he faced in the period while Coulthard remained perfect, stopping all fourteen shots during the period. Through two periods, Coulthard stopped all twenty shots he faced from the Ephs, while the score remained at 2-0 in favor of Trinity.
Williams did not hesitate to get going once the third period began. Only 32 seconds into the period, freshman standout, George Hunkele, scored on a shorthanded situation. Junior Eph defensemen, David Jarrett, dumped the puck over each Bantam defensemen and Hunkele raced down the length of the ice to beat each Bantam defender to the puck. Immediately after gathering possession of the puck deep in the Trinity zone, Hunkele fired a shot on net that beat Coulthard low to the right side. The score now stood at, Trinity 2, Williams 1.
With the lead now cut in half, the Ephs controlled momentum. Not even two minutes following Hunkele's goal, the Ephs put away another goal on the power play to tie the score up at 2-2. Senior-captain, Nick Anderson, received a pass down low to the right of the net. Anderson had the puck on his backhand and made a nifty move to get the puck onto his forehand where he then fired a wrist shot that beat Coulthard to his blocker side. Assists were awarded to Hunkele and junior forward, Craig Kitto.
Minutes later, Williams again found themselves on the power play after a Trinity tripping penalty and with a few seconds remaining on the man-advantage. Freshman Eph defenseman, Frankie Mork, fired a wrist shot from the left point that was tipped in by Hunkele to put the ephs in front 3-2. The Mork shot wwas set up by a pass from Zander Masucci.
The sudden lead change heightened the intensity of the game and Williams had to fend off a relentless Trinity attack. Dougherty was stellar in limiting rebounds in the final minutes to hold onto his team's lead.
With 1:15 remaining, Trinity head coach, Matt Greason, elected to call a timeout. During this timeout Greason also elected to pull his goaltender to have a man-up in the final minute. After the faceoff, Williams gained possession and dumped the puck out of the zone. Craig Kitto saw open ice and an empty net and was off to the races. Kitto gained possession of the puck on the side boards and buried the empty-netter to put Williams up two goals with less than a minute remaining.
The final horn sounded and the scoreboard read, Williams 4, Trinity 2.
Trinity goalie Ben Coultard made 33 saves on the night, while Eph netminder Sean Dougherty turned aside 24 attempts by the Bantams.
When asked about what was said before the third period to jumpstart his team's third period comeback, Williams head hockey coach, Bill Kangas said, "Nothing out of the ordinary. We always stress focusing on the present and staying in the moment. We never got ahead of ourselves tonight and achieved a lot of good things as a result."
The Ephs take to the ice again this Friday at 7 pm in Williamstown against NESCAC opponent and Little Three rival, Wesleyan University (7-2-1, 6-0-1).