Williamstown, MA– Williams College Ephs (3-2-2, 3-1-2 NESCAC) tied the Hamilton Continentals (6-0-2, 3-0-2 NESCAC) 3-3. The Ephs come back from a three-goal deficit with three unanswered goals.
"A lot of good things from today; Hamilton is a good team and they really took control of the game early in the second period and we didn't respond very well to that," head coach Bill Kangas said.
The first period ended with no goals but both teams had one-man advantages with a total of four penalties given throughout the period. Williams junior C.J. Shugart was called for boarding 1:23 into the first period, which put the Eph defensive line to the test early in the game. The Ephs killed the penalty with ease and got their own opportunity when Hamilton senior Bennett Hambrook was called for tripping at 4:42. The Ephs were unable to capitalize on their one power play of the period.
Williams junior and Colby Cretella and freshman Peter Christie were both called for tripping at 7:57 and 17:02 but the talented Eph defensive line was able to hold off the Continentals to keep the game square. During Christie's penalty, the Ephs opened up a 2 vs. 1 opportunity with sophomore Roberto Cellini and Cretella that just missed giving the Ephs a one-goal lead.
Hamilton came off the first intermission hot, scoring three goals within the first six minutes of the second period. The first came at 1:57 from sophomore Rory Gagnon who stuffed the puck in after Williams sophomore netminder, Michael Pinios, deflected a shot from Continental freshman Sterling Bray. Their second goal came at 4:44 from sophomore Jason Brochu, assisted by Gagnon. Thirty seconds later, Bray got his first goal of the game and the Continentals got their third goal within four minutes. Bray was assisted by classmate Bennett Morrison and Brochu.
The first penalty given in the period gave the Ephs a chance to reduce their three-goal deficit when Hamilton freshman Seamus O'Neill was called for interference at 8:22. A little over a minute into the power play, at 9:35, Williams put up their first goal of the game by senior Luke Stickel and assisted by junior Colby Cretella and sophomore Roberto Cellini.
Emotions were running high and a confrontation in front of Hamilton goaltender, junior Evan Buitenhuis, sent junior David Italiano out of the game for face masking. Freshman Wyatt Glover served Italiano's five-minute penalty, called at 17:21. Senior James McNamara and Hamilton senior Truman Landowski both received two-minute roughing penalties at 17:21. Hamilton freshman Jason Brochu received a holding penalty at 19:26 to carry over a minute and a half into the third period. Italiano's penalty carried over two and a half minutes from the second period.
An exciting third period gave Williams the two goals they needed to tie up the game. Following last night's theme, the Ephs scored both goals during a power play. After killing off the two penalties carried over from the second, Hamilton senior Jon Carkeek was called for roughing at 2:30. The Ephs took the opportunity at 3:02 when senior George Hunkele score, unassisted, with a shot from the blue line.
Six seconds later, Hamilton freshman Seamus O'Neill was called for interference and the Ephs capitalized again with a tip in my senior Alex Haggerty, assisted by junior Colby Cretella and sophomore Roberto Cellini.
"We did a good job chipping away at the deficit, scoring on those key power play opportunities," Kangas said. "When you do that it makes a big difference and it gave us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the period."
With time running out on the clock, the two teams entered OT but the game ultimately ended in a tie.
"It's still early in the year but we've showed a lot of character so far, but there are always things to work on," Kangas said. "Oswego is number one in the country so we're excited to see how we matchup."
The Ephs will net play on Dec. 30 against Oswego St. in the Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament hosted by Norwich University with the puck drop at 4:00 p.m.