PLATTSBURGH, NY -- The Ephs took a decisive victory tonight against the third ranked team in the nation, Plattsburgh State, at Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena, beating the Cardinals 6-3 after a tie against Manhattanville Friday. Senior Crag Kitto for the Ephs and Patrick Hermans for the Cardinals each had hat tricks in the contest, but additional goals from freshmen Dan Doherty and David Italiano, and junior Greg Johnson for the Ephs gave Williams the edge in this game.
Williams got off to a quick start, with Craig Kitto cashing in the first goal of the night, and his sixth goal of the season, just 1:17 into the first period. Kitto was assisted by classmate David Jarrett on the play, bringing the game to an early 1-0 lead.
At 9:23 into the first, the Ephs got on the board again when Dan Doherty fired one past goaltender Spencer Finney for Plattsburgh State, getting his second goal of the season. Sophomore Tyler Young earned an assist on the play. This goal brought the game to 2-0 within the first ten minutes of play.
After Rich Botting for Plattsburgh State took a two-minute minor for hooking, the Ephs were able to capitalize on their second power play opportunity of the night. Kitto scored his second of the game, and was assisted by freshman David Italiano, bringing the game to 3-0 at 12:38 in the first period. The first period ended with the Ephs up 3-0.
Craig Kitto was quick to get back to work as the second period got under way, completing his hat trick for the night at 3:42 into the second period. Italiano and sophomore James McNamara were awarded assists on the Ephs' fourth goal. This goal marked a goaltender change for Plattsburgh State, with Ryan Hubbard stepping in to take over for Finney in the Cardinals' net.
A few minutes later, Italiano scored his sixth goal of the season to bring the game to 5-0 in Williams favor. Italiano was assisted by sophomore classmates Frankie Mork and Tyler Young, 7:11 into the second period.
The Cardinals got on the board several minutes later on a power play opportunity, after David Jarrett was whistled for elbowing. At 14:33, Patrick Hermans for Plattsburgh State ended senior Sean Dougherty's shutout bid. This was Hermans' second goal of the season, and he was assisted by Alex Brenton and Preston Kaye.
The Ephs responded with another power play goal of their own just minutes later, as a result of a penalty called against Plattsburgh State for goaltender interference. The Ephs made the game 6-1 at 18:09 into the second period, when Greg Johnson fired one past Ryan Hubbard, scoring his fourth goal of the season. Johnson was assisted by Jarrett on the play. This goal rounded out the scoring for the second period.
"I thought we played really good two way hockey," said head coach Bill Kangas on the first forty minutes of play. "We were competing for the puck offensively, had good back pressure on their forwards, and we generated a lot of shots. We were opportunistic, we got the space, we got those netfront goals in point blank range, and we won those netfront battles."
Plattsburgh State controlled the scoreboard in the third period, scoring the only two goals in the last twenty minutes. The first goal came at 5:06 into the third, when Patrick Hermans scored his second goal of the game, off of assists from teammates Connor Toomey and Ayrton Valente.
The third period was riddled with penalties on both sides. "We had penalties called both ways, and we did a good job hanging in there, competing for a full sixty minutes," said Kangas. All of the power play opportunities were unsuccessful until Ephs' sophomore Sam Gray's penalty for elbowing in the final minutes of play allowed for a successful power play for the Cardinals.
At 19:10 into the third period, Hermans completed his hat trick on the night, with the assist again coming from Toomey. This goal rounded out the scoring for the game, with the final score resting at 6-3 for the Ephs. Shots on goal for the game were heavily in the Ephs' favor overall, 58-18.
"I'm proud of the team for responding and creating the energy that seemed lacking yesterday. We shifted gears pretty well from last night to tonight," noted Kangas. "Building on earlier play is always the goal, and all in all we learned from yesterday and were able to apply that to today."
This match brings the Ephs' overall record to 9-3-2 on the season, while Plattsburgh State's record moves to 12-4-1. The Ephs next take on Colby at home on the 23rd, at 7:00 PM. The Ephs played their first game of the season against Colby, coming away with a victory, winning 4-2 back in November.