WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams College Ephs (13-6-3, 10-3-3 NESCAC) defeated the Middlebury College Panthers (3-17-2, 3-13 NESCAC) 4-1 tonight in the Lansing Chapman Rink. The Ephs held the Panthers to one goal this weekend, and scored four unanswered goals in the first period of this match to capture the victory.
The Ephs faced Middlebury last night in Panther territory, Williams coming away with a 3-0 victory.
In net tonight was sophomore Michael Pinios, Pinios came off of a shutout victory last night. He came into this match sporting a .883 save percentage. In the opposing crease for the Panthers was junior Steven Klein, who came into this match with a .914 save percentage. Klein was relieved by freshman Brian Ketchabaw partway through the first period.
On holding Middlebury to one goal this weekend, Williams head coach Bill Kangas stated: "Defensively, I thought collectively as a team we had more numbers coming back. This weekend, we defended a lot better than we have in the past."
"We turned the puck over a lot yesterday and not as much today, and Michael played well- he had two solid games. So it was a combination of good goaltending and as a team we defended much better on the weekend."
Williams got on the board first in this contest. At 4:31 of the first period, senior Alex Hagerty (sixth goal) was able to elevate one past Klein on a 2-1 play facilitated by classmate Marcus Mollica (first assist). Mollica was able to gain control of the puck off of the boards in the neutral zone to generate the play. Classmate James McNamara (sixth assist) was also awarded an assist on the play. This brought the score to 1-0.
The Ephs solidified a two goal lead just over a minute later. At 5:48, Mork gained possession of the puck in the neutral zone, was able to split the defenders, and fired a wrist shot over Klein's stick side to bring the game to 2-0. This was Mork's third goal of the season. Mork was assisted on the play by classmate Tyler Young (12th assist) and David Italiano (19th assist).
Williams was given a power play opportunity at 12:38, when Panther junior Vincent Gisonti was called to the box for slashing. Coming into this match, Williams was successful on the man advantage 28% of the time. The Ephs amassed a three goal lead at 13:43 of the first. Junior C.J. Shugart (fifth assist) controlled the puck from the lower left side of the zone in towards the net, made a cross pass to classmate Italiano who was stationed at the right post of the net, and put one quickly past the goal line. This marked Italiano's 12th goal of the season. Tyler Young earned an assist on the play (second of the game, 13th of the season). This brought the game to 3-0.
The Ephs furthered their lead to four goals just over a minute later at 14:46. The Panthers had control of the puck behind their net, however the pass that was made was intercepted by Shugart (sixth assist), who fed a perfect pass to the stick of Mollica (third goal), who shot one over Klein's left shoulder to capture his second point of the game. Senior Luke Stickel (ninth assist) was also awarded an assist on the play. This brought the score to 4-0 headed into the locker rooms after the first 20 minutes of play.
The Panthers made a change in goaltender at 14:46 of the first period, with freshman Brian Ketchabaw minding the crease for the remainder of the game.
The second period was scoreless, the game headed into the third period with a score of 4-0.
After two periods, the shot count was 38-8 in favor of the Ephs.
The Panthers got on the board at 2:10 of the third period. Senior Greg Conrad (fifth goal) was able to convert on a rebound in front of the net after his teammate shot one from close range. Conrad was assisted on the play by freshman Brendan Dawson (fifth assist) and senior Travis Stephens (ninth assist). This goal brought the game score to 4-1.
"There are some things that we have to work on in the offensive zone with our positioning, and I really think our back pressure can still improve," commented Kangas. "We have to make good plays, realize the situations we are in, watch a lot of video, and improve on getting pucks out at the right time, and getting pucks deep at the right time."
Shot count at the end of the game was 46-15, the final score of the game 4-1 for Williams.
"The guys know that come Monday we have to get a little bit sharper, move the puck a little quicker. We made some adjustments this past week, I thought we moved the puck a lot quicker, our D to D passes were sharper, our level of communication was better," appraised Kangas. "You could hear guys talking on the ice and that is something that was a real positive so we have to continue building on that. We're in for a big weekend on the road against two really good teams."
Williams next faces Amherst on the road on February 17th, with puck drop at 7:00 PM EST. Middlebury next faces Hamilton on the road on Friday the 17th, with puck drop also at 7:00 PM EST.