Williamstown, MA- The Williams College men's hockey team bounced back from a 3-0 loss to SUNY Geneseo yesterday in dominating fashion, beating the visiting Johnson and Wales University Wildcats (JWU) 5-1 at Lansing Chapman Rink. Senior captain Zander Masucci kicked of the scoring for the Ephs at the 7:54 mark of the first period. Williams (3-1-0/2-0-0 NESCAC) added a power play goal in the first to go ahead 2-0, then converted on two more power play opportunities in the second period to erase all doubt of victory. The Ephs will not play at home again until January 2nd against Adrian, traveling to their next four matchups to round out 2015. The Wildcats (3-2-3/2-1-2 Conference) will also go on the road for their next game, a meeting with Western New England on Saturday.
Both teams were able to generate good scoring opportunities early. The best chance for JWU came early in the first when junior Ben Brouillard received a stretch pass from his defense and worked the puck in on Williams goalie Michael Pinios. Pinios, a freshman from Montreal, Quebec, made the save on Brouillard as part of his 19 save performance that improved his record to 2-0 on the year. Three minutes later, Williams sophomore forward Joe Welch received a pass from senior Matt Werner in his defensive zone and carried the puck all the way to the front of the Wildcat net. There, he momentarily lost control of the puck before finding a trailing Masucci at the left point, whose wrist shot snuck by JWU goalie Joey Ballmer. A JWU penalty late in the first period put the Ephs on the power play. Sophomore C.J. Shugart posted up in front of Ballmer and was able to redirect a shot from senior defenseman Greg Johnson into the goal to put Williams up 2-0 at the end of the period.
Penalties continued to plague the Wildcats in the second period. Williams had a two man advantage for a brief period time that was effectively killed by the JWU defense. No penalty proved to be as costly as when Wildcat freshman Chad Guderian was booked for a five minute major penalty for interference at the 14:21 mark. During the ensuing power play, Williams scored two goals within 17 seconds of each other to push their lead to 4-0. The first goal came when junior Frankie Mork found classmate George Hunkele, who got his shot off before Ballmer had time to slide over to his side of the net. Moments later, sophomore Colby Cretella showed off his hand-eye coordination by tipping in a shot from junior James McNamara that would have otherwise sailed wide.
JWU travels back to Providence with the distinction of being the only team to score on Michael Pinios this season after a power play goal of their own midway through the third period. Junior Connor Bates picked out Brouillard right in front of the Williams net, where it took more than one effort for Brouillard to eventually coax the puck over the line to give the Wildcats their only goal of the day. Shugart added an empty net goal with two minutes left in the game to round out the scoring.
Williams head coach Bill Kangas was happy with his team's performance, an improved effort from Saturday's loss to Geneseo. Kangas said, "We did a better job possessing the puck in the offensive zone and did well to limit our turnovers. Obviously, scoring a couple of power play goals in the second period was very important, we were able to get pucks to the net and did a good job deflecting and screening the goalie." He went on to say, "We did some nice things yesterday, the main difference was that today were we able to put a few in."
Williams will look to put a few more pucks in the net when they travel to face Tufts on Saturday, where they will look to remain undefeated in NESCAC play.