NEW LONDON, CT -- The Williams College Ephs (5-1-0, 4-0-0 NESCAC) played the Connecticut College Mules (1-4-2, 0-2-2) on the road today, defeating their opponent 3-1 in a tight game. Sophomore C.J. Shugart got the Ephs on the board first, midway through the third period, and was then backed up by freshman Michael Lata, and sophomore David Italiano, to secure a victory, and a continued undefeated conference record.
"I think our success so far is a result of an overall team effort," said Williams head coach Bill Kangas on the team's undefeated conference record. "If you look at the way we play, the way we block shots, every individual is contributing. Our goalies are playing well, our team defense is right there backing them up."
The Ephs shut out the Tufts Jumbos last night 2-0, while the Camels tied Middlebury at home 2-2.
In net for the Ephs today was freshman Michael Pinios. This game was Pinios' third start of the season, and he came into this match with a .968 save percentage. Pinios made 17 saves this afternoon. In net for the Camels was senior netminder Tom Conlin, who came into this match with a .946 save percentage. Conlin made 17 saves in the match.
The first two periods of the contest were scoreless; all four goals of the game were produced in the third period. The first period revealed Williams' dominance on the shot count, with totals after 20 minutes coming in at 19-2. The second period shot count was reversed, with the advantage going to Conn. College, 11-6, for two period totals of 25-13 for the Ephs.
In the first period, the two teams were called for a penalty apiece (Williams freshman Roberto Cellini went to the box on account of slashing at 3:37, while Conn. College freshman Vincent Ditmore was called for interference at 18:23).
In the second period, Williams was called for two penalties (David Italiano for tripping at 1:27 and junior Greg Zaffino for roughing at 7:46), while the Camels were called for one (Conner Judson for cross-checking at 1:41).
In the third period, the Ephs got on the board first at 7:42, when sophomore C.J. Shugart racked up his third goal of the season, by firing one past Conlin to bring the game to 1-0 for Williams. Shugart was assisted by classmate David Italiano.
Conn. College responded to tie the game at 12:45, when senior Tim Dipretoro got one past Pinios. Dipretoro was assisted on the play by teammates Joe Giordano and Sebastian Meltzer, bringing the game to 1-1.
Williams came back to claim the lead shortly thereafter - just 13 seconds later, at 12:58, Michael Lata got on the board off of an accurate shot that hit the post and went in, assisted on the play by David Italiano. This marked Lata's first goal as an Eph, and Italiano's fourth assist on the year, the score now 2-1.
"We responded really well in the third, the guys were able to come right back," noted Kangas on the team's response directly after Conn. College tied the game. "The line was ready to go after the Camels scored - within a matter of seconds, we had Lata who had just a great shot off the post, and that type of response is really important."
Williams secured their win at 16:42 of the third, bringing the game to its final score, 3-1. The Ephs had a breakout play through the neutral zone, Italiano and junior Tyler Young had a two on one opportunity. Italiano received a pass from Young, and was able to fire one past Cronin. Young was awarded the assist on the play.
The shot count rounded out at 31-23 in favor of the Ephs, after third period totals came in at 10-6 for the Camels.
"This was a big win for us, any time we can get four points on the road, that's a big weekend," commented Kangas. "But, it is still early in the year. Obviously it's nice to be in the position we are in at this point, but there is a lot of hockey yet to be played. So we will enjoy our Monday off, and get back to work for our big games next weekend."
The Ephs play away at Amherst next Friday, the 11th, at 7:30 PM. Conn. College plays next Friday as well, at 7:00 PM, facing off against the Colby Mules.