Ephs Beat Wesleyan Cardinals 2-1

Alex DeBaere '15
Alex DeBaere '15

 WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams Ephs (13-4-2, 9-3-1 NESCAC) defeated the Wesleyan Cardinals (2-17-0, 1-12-0 NESCAC) 2-1 tonight in Lansing Chapman Rink. Senior Alex DeBaere scored two goals in the second period to seal the deal for Williams. Senior goaltender Sean Dougherty made sixteen saves in this contest.

"We were pretty opportunistic tonight. We got a big short-handed goal, and getting ahead 2-0 after two periods was huge," commented head coach Bill Kangas. "We were able to make a couple of plays, able to capitalize and score."

These two teams last met January 9th at Wesleyan, where the Ephs came away with a 3-1 victory. Coming into today's contest, Williams had a 12-4-2 overall record, with a NESCAC record of 8-3-1. Wesleyan had a 2-16-0 record, and were 1-11-0 in the NESCAC.

Sean Dougherty started in net for Williams, who had a .918 save percentage in his ten starts previous to this match. Dawson Sprigings was the netminder for the Cardinals tonight, and he came into this match with a .892 save percentage. Sprigings made an impressive thirty-nine stops for the Cardinals in this contest.

Just 2:07 into the game, penalties were called against both sides, with Nick Malone for Wesleyan called for hooking, and with sophomore Luke Stickel for the Ephs called for diving. No scoring resulted from this 4-4 play.

At the end of the first period, Williams went on their first power play of the game on accord of a slashing call against Cole Morrissette for the Cardinals. Headed into this man advantage, the Ephs were 28.6% on the power play this season. Williams was not able to score before the period ended, which caused them to start the second period with :50 left on the power play.

The game was scoreless after one, with the shot count in the Ephs' favor 15-4.

Just seconds into the start of the second period (and the second portion of the Ephs' power play), senior captain David Jarrett got called for boarding after delivering a huge hit on Quincy Oujevolk of the Cardinals. This call came at :22, negating Williams' power play, but also giving Wesleyan 1:29 on the power play at the back end of the 4-4.

Coming into this power play opportunity, Wesleyan was 14.3% on the man advantage this season, while the Ephs were 78.2% on the penalty kill. At 1:11 into the period, the Ephs were able to get on the board after a 2-1 break out. Senior Alex DeBaere scored his fourth goal of the season off of a cross pass from classmate Craig Kitto (11th assist) while short-handed. Sophomore Greg Zaffino (3rd assist) also earned an assist on the play.

The Ephs again went on the powerplay at 10:38 into the second period, after sophomore Tyler Young was cross-checked by James Kline. Kline is the leading scorer for the Cardinals, with eight goals thus far in the season. The Cardinals effectively killed this penalty.

At 15:30, the Ephs went up 2-0 in the game, with DeBaere getting his second goal of the game, and fifth goal of the season. DeBaere again was fed a cross pass by Kitto (12th assist). Freshman Colby Cretella (6th assist) also earned an assist on the play, after controlling the puck around the perimeter and finding Kitto low in the slot.

This rounded out scoring for the period, with Williams leading 2-0 headed into the third period. The Ephs lead the overall shot count 30-9, as well as the second period totals of 15-5.

At 14:21 into the third period, Colby Cretella received a high elbow from Cole Morrissette, giving the Ephs another chance with the man advantage. However just seconds later, Ephs' freshman C.J. Shugart went to the box for tripping at 14:45, evening play up to 4-4.

At 18:35, Wesleyan's Alex Carlacci, with his third goal of the season, got one past Dougherty after the Cardinals pulled their goaltender to have the extra attacker. Cam McCusker (4th assist) and Terrence Durkin (7th assist) earned assists on this goal, bringing the game to 2-1 with 1:25 left in the game. The game finished with a final score of 2-1. The final shot count was heavily in favor of the Ephs, 41-17.

This win for the Ephs brings their overall record to 13-4-2, with a NESCAC record of 9-3-1. Wesleyan's overall record moves to 2-17-0, with a 1-12-0 NESCAC record.

"As we've said all along, every team is good. You look at Wesleyan's record- it doesn't reflect their skill- they played well, they answered, they pressed us. We're just in that good of a league. The fact that we were able to pull out a win at home was important," remarked Kangas.

Williams next takes on Trinity Saturday at 3:00 PM. Wesleyan's next match is against Middlebury Saturday at 4:00 PM.

On tomorrow's much anticipated game against the first ranked team in the conference, Trinity, coach Kangas commented: "Trinity has had a really successful season. We have to be ready to come out and play sixty, sixty-five minutes if necessary. There is a reason why they are first place in the league - they're a good hockey team, and this is a great opportunity for us to play them tomorrow at home."