WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams College Ephs (2-0-0, 2-0-0 NESCAC) shut out the Colby Mules (0-2-0, 0-2-0 NESCAC) at the Lansing Chapman Rink today, defeating their opponent 1-0. Freshman Roberto Cellini scored the lone goal for the Ephs in the second period, while freshman Michael Pinios made his Williams debut in net, recording his first shutout in his first game as an Eph.
"I thought we played very well on the weekend," commented Williams head coach Bill Kangas. "Defensively, I thought we competed, and today was a grind. We played a tough team last night, and to come back again on opening weekend to get four points was pretty big for us."
Colby came into this contest today following a 4-0 loss at Middlebury yesterday. Williams faced Bowdoin at home yesterday, coming away with a 4-1 victory.
The netminder for the Ephs today, making his playing debut for Williams, was Michael Pinios (Montreal, Que.). In net for the Mules was sophomore Emerson Verrier. Verrier made 35 saves against Middlebury last night, allowing four goals. Pinios save all 11 shots he was faced with in this match, while Verrier made 30 saves.
"He was very calm, kept the pucks to the side, he really competed out there today," noted Kangas on Pinios' debut as an Eph. "I thought the guys did a really good job in front of him, too. We saw a lot of guys going out there and blocking shots. To get a shutout, a goalie is going to need to have a couple of big saves, and Michael certainly did that for us today."
The Mules went to the box three times in the first period, giving the Ephs three power play opportunities. The Ephs were strong on the man advantage last season, converting 26% of the time. Last night, sophomore David Italiano scored a power play goal for the Ephs against Bowdoin. The Mules were able kill all three penalties, however, despite constant pressure from the Eph special teams unit.
Williams dominated in scoring opportunities, with the shot count in the Ephs' favor 16-3 after the first. While the first period was scoreless, the first 20 minutes were riddled with chippy play and hard hits.
The Ephs scored the first goal of the game at 5:51 of the second period. Directly off of a face-off in the left circle, junior Frankie Mork threw one towards the net, and freshman Roberto Cellini got a piece of it, tipping it past Verrier. Mork was awarded an assist on the play. This marked Cellini's first collegiate goal, and his second point in as many games.
That goal rounded out action for the second period, the score going into the third was 1-0, and shot totals accumulating to 27-7 for the Ephs after two.
Williams was put on the defensive for much of the third period. Colby made a strong effort to even the score, pulling Emerson Verrier from the net to gain the extra man with one minute remaining in the contest. But the Ephs, lead by Pinios in goal, were able to hold Colby off, and retained their 1-0 lead.
Coach Kangas noted his team's necessary defensive prowess in the third period: "Colby got off to a great start in the third, but we weathered the storm, made some good decisions with the puck. I actually thought we were better in the third period than we were in the second; we were not trying to force plays."
The game ended with a 1-0 score, bringing the Ephs to 2-0-0 for the weekend (and the Mules to 0-2-0). The shot count at the end of the game was 31-11, the Ephs with 31.
The Mules are competing in the Bowdoin/Colby Face-off Classic next weekend, and their first opponent is U-Mass Boston, Saturday the 28th at 4:00 PM. Williams faces SUNY Geneseo next Saturday at home at 4:30 PM.