WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Williams Men's Hockey (3-0-1) had a decisive victory over the Tufts Jumbos (0-3-1) on Saturday, winning 9-0. It was a collective effort for the Ephs, with eleven players getting points in the game. Notable performances came from sophomores Luke Stickel and Tyler Young, both recording four points in the game.
The Ephs got off to a good start at the Chapman Rink, coming out of the first period ahead 4-0.
The first goal came 2:28 minutes in, when Luke Stickel brought the puck behind the net, and successfully scored a wrap around goal against Tufts' goaltender Mason Pulde.
The Ephs got on the board again just 4:39 minutes into the game, after freshman David Italiano put pressure on the Jumbos in the neutral zone, forcing a turnover and bringing the puck into the Ephs' offensive zone. The puck was again loose in front of the net, and an ensuing offensive scramble in the crease produced a goal, with Tyler Young finally getting one past Pulde. The assist on the play was awarded to freshman Colby Cretella.
Around half way into the period, the Ephs scored again, as Cretella fired one from the left slot after a quick pass by Young, who earned the assist on the play. The goal came at 9:46, making the game 3-0, and causing Tufts head coach Brian Murphy to make a goaltender change, bringing in Ryan McConnell.
A few minutes later, the Ephs were given a power play opportunity after Jumbos' Dan Kelly went to the box for interference. Tufts effectively killed the penalty, however.
Williams kept the pressure on until the end of the period, when at 18:03, C.J. Shugart fired one from the outside, causing a rebound that Luke Stickel was able to get to. Stickel shot one past McConnell low in the zone, bringing the Ephs to have a 4-0 lead over the Jumbos after the first.
The second period continued to show the offensive prowess of the Williams Ephs.
The first goal came 5:09 minutes in, when Tyler Young passed the puck to sophomore Greg Zaffino, who got one off quickly and scored the fifth goal of the game.
Just over eight minutes into the second period, Sean Kavanagh for the Jumbos went to the box for roughing, because of his hit against sophomore George Hunkele after the play was blown dead. The Ephs converted on this power play opportunity, after Hunkele shot one from the outside, and Luke Stickel got to the rebound and quickly got one past McConnell, making the game 6-0. In addition to Hunkele, sophomore Sam Gray also earned an assist.
The Ephs' next goal came at 11:50, when David Italiano fired one down low from a bad angle on the left side. Young got his third assist of the night on the play. Another goaltender change came from the Tufts following this goal, with Ross Bendetson now between pipes. This goal made the game 7-0 in the Ephs' favor.
The final goal of the period came with just 3:25 left to go, as junior Greg Johnson shot one from far out. Bendetson was heavily screened on the play, unable to see the puck ricochet off of his own defenseman into the back of the net. Luke Stickel was awarded an assist on the goal, bringing the game to 8-0 heading into the third period.
Williams continued playing aggressively in the third. Just 1:15 minutes in, Stewart Bell for the Jumbos went to the box for boarding freshman Dan Doherty. The Ephs converted on this power play chance, as senior Craig Kitto made a smart play with a quick pass in front of the net to C.J. Shugart, who fired one high and past the Tufts goaltender. This power play goal at 2:17 made the game 9-0, Kitto and Italiano earning assists on the play.
Williams went on the power play again nine minutes into the period. Sean Kavanagh went to the box for tripping. The Jumbos effectively killed this power play opportunity.
At 12:34, Williams' sophomore Greg Zaffino went to the penalty box for tripping. This marked the first power play of the game for Tufts, however senior goaltender Sean Dougherty allowed nothing through, and the Ephs killed the power play.
"I thought we played a pretty effective game, we played with a lot of patience, our defense moved really well," said head coach Bill Kangas for the Ephs. "We played hard off the puck, competed for loose pucks, and really supported each other out there."
The game finished with a score of 9-0 for the Ephs. Shot count was heavily in Williams' favor: 44-15. With fifteen saves in the game, goalie Sean Dougherty earned his first shutout of the season. Luke Stickel had a hat-trick and a four point game.
Williams looks to continue on with this momentum going into the Skidmore Tournament next weekend, but Kangas noted that there are definitely things to work on come Monday practice: "This is only two weeks into the season, we can't just go by score. All aspects of our game can be improved upon, but we've got kids out there who are pretty hungry, very eager, and have quite a strong work ethic."
The Jumbos take on Becker on the 25th and then will participate in the Rutland Herald Invitational on the 28th and 29th.