RYE, NY -- The Williams Ephs (7-4-2, 4-2-2 NESCAC) defeated the Manhattanville Valiants (8-8, 4-2 ECAC West) 4-0 this afternoon at the Playland Ice Casino. All four goals came from different members of the Eph squad, and junior goaltender Stephen Morrissey recorded a shutout with 25 saves on the match.
Williams came into this match 6-4-2 overall with a conference record of 4-2-2, following a dominant 4-1 victory at home against Brockport on Tuesday.
The Valiants came into this match 8-7 overall, with a conference record of 4-2, coming off of a decisive 9-2 victory over SUNY Cortland Saturday.
When these two teams met January 15 last year, the Ephs came away with a 3-2 victory.
In net for Williams this afternoon was Stephen Morrissey, Morrissey making his third consecutive start for the Ephs, coming into this matchup with an impressive 96.4% save percentage. In the opposite crease was sophomore Tyler Feaver, coming into this contest with an 89% save percentage.
The first goal for Williams came at 14:15 of the first period, when sophomore Roberto Cellini (eighth goal) popped one past Feaver on an unassisted play. This goal brought the score to 1-0 after the first 20 minutes of play.
After the first period, shots were just in favor of the Ephs 10-9.
The Ephs picked up right where they left off straight away in the second period; just :31 seconds into the period, junior C.J. Shugart (ninth goal) fired one past the goal line, with help from senior James McNamara (fourth assist), bringing the game score to 2-0 early in the second period.
Williams scored their third uncontested goal at 13:19 of the second, giving the team a three goal cushion, after being given a 5-3 man advantage. At 12:30, Valiants junior Stephen Gaul went to the box for tripping, and at 12:39, his teammate senior Tanner Hicks was called off the ice for interference. Williams junior David Italiano (seventh goal) was able to convert on the power play, assisted by seniors Frankie Mork (eighth assist) and Sam Gray (eighth assist). The teams went to the locker rooms after two periods with the score remaining at 3-0.
"It was nice that we were able to get both even strength and power play goals tonight, generating goals in both scenarios is always a big plus," commented Williams head coach Bill Kangas. "I thought Manhattanville played pretty strong, and I thought we defended them pretty well. We played a bit better as the game went on, but overall the guys played connected today."
After 40 minutes of play, Williams was ahead in shot count 21-18.
At :48 of the third period, Stephen Gaul was called to the box again for boarding, allowing for a power play opportunity for the Ephs. Junior Colby Cretella scored his third goal of the season on this man advantage, bringing the score to 4-0 at 1:48 of the third period. Seniors George Hunkele (third assist) and Alex Hagerty (second assist) earned assists on the play.
The game ended with a shot count of 30-25 for the Ephs, with a final game score of 4-0. Morrissey, in net for the Ephs, earned himself a shutout with his 25 saves, and his third straight win.
On the decision making process choosing between Morrissey and sophomore goaltender Michael Pinios for starts, Kangas notes: "Both Michael and Stephen have played very well, so our decision making on that is day to day. They are both very capable and supportive of each other, and obviously we are confident with either of them in goal. Stephen had a nice game today and has played well the last few games, and we are pleased about that."
The Ephs face Plattsburgh State on the road tomorrow at 7:00 PM EST. Manhattanville faces Nichols tomorrow at 7:00 PM.
"Six of our seven last games have been on the road," Kangas noted. "We want to finish this stretch off well and we are excited about the opportunity we have to do just that tomorrow at Plattsburgh."