Ephs Down Babson 4-1 For Third Consecutive Win of the Year

C.J. Shugart '18
C.J. Shugart '18

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams College Ephs (3-0-0, 2-0-0 NESCAC) defeated the Babson Beavers (5-3-1, 4-1-1 NEWMAC) 4-1 at the Lansing Chapman Rink this afternoon. This win for the Ephs extended their win streak to three games, their undefeated season remaining intact thus far. Five members of the Williams squad had two point games, including seniors C.J Shugart, David Italiano, Joe Welch, junior Roberto Cellini, and freshman Myles Cunningham.

Coming into this match, Babson had a five-game unbeaten streak, most recently defeating Tufts 3-1 on Tuesday. Last weekend was Williams' opening weekend, winning both home ice conference matches against Bowdoin and Colby. 

In net this afternoon for the Ephs was junior Michael Pinios, who sported a save percentage of .895 after his start against Colby last weekend. In the opposing crease was junior Matt Pompa, who came into this match with an impressive save percentage of .938.

The Ephs were the first to get on the board in the contest in a second period proving to be an action filled 20 minutes of play. At 2:46, David Italiano scored his first goal of the season, to bring the score to 1-0. Assists on the Italiano goal were registered by Myles Cunningham and Roberto Cellini.

Williams secured a two-goal lead just two minutes later. At 4:46, senior C.J. Shugart scored his second of the season, getting one past Pompa on a play assisted by classmate Joe Welch and Cunningham (second consecutive assist).

The Ephs' third goal of the period came at 12:05 into the period. Senior captain Colby Cretella fired off his first goal of the season, and was assisted by classmates Shugart and Welch. This goal marked both Shugart and Welch picking up their second points of the game.

Even though Babson entered as a hot team, Eph head coach Mike Monti told his charges, "To just play our game and reminded them that we know what we are good at. We play really hard down low hockey and make it hard to play against us in the defensive zone.

"I think what turned the game in our favor was Joe Welch on a d-zone faceoff that sprung us on a breakaway," added Monti. "Sometimes when one goal comes they just come in waves." 

At 16:31 of the second period, Babson got on the board to bring the Williams lead down to just two goals. At 15:04, Myles Cunningham went to the box on account of tripping, giving Babson the man advantage for two minutes. The special teams unit for Babson capitalized on this opportunity with sophomore Josh Beck beating Pinios on a play facilitated by senior Rob Devaney. Williams took a two-goal, 3-1, lead into the intermission.

The Ephs solidified their lead with an empty net goal, on the power play (after Babson's Zach Phelps was sent to the box for interference), at 17:38. Shugart picked up his second goal of the game on the play, Cellini picked up his second assist, and Italiano's assist also elevated him to two points on the game. This goal brought the score to the game's final outcome of 4-1 for the Ephs.

The shot count went in favor of Babson for the game, totals coming out to 30-26. 

Looking forward Monti said, "I just want our guys to get better each day they step on the ice and play hard. I'm incredibly proud of how hard this team has worked through last spring, the summer, and this season."

Babson next faces UMass Boston on December 1st at 7:00 PM. Williams next faces Tufts on the road on December 1st, with the puck drop at 7:00 PM EST as well.