CLINTON, NY -- The Williams Ephs (5-2-1, 4-1-1 NESCAC) were defeated by the Hamilton Continentals (4-3-1, 2-2-1 NESCAC) 1-0 at Hamilton this afternoon. Continentals' freshman, and younger brother of Williams' junior Luke Stickel, scored the sole goal for Hamilton early on in the third period.
In net for the Ephs was freshman Michael Pinios, who had a .963 save percentage going into today's match. In net for the Continentals was sophomore Evan Buitenhuis, who came into his seventh start of the season with a .949 save percentage. Pinios made 30 saves in today's match, while Buitenhuis made all 42, producing a shutout.
"I thought their goalie played very well," stated Williams head coach Bill Kangas. "Both goalies played very well. I thought we had some golden chances in the second period, generated quite a few opportunities for ourselves. The difference in the game was who was able to convert on those opportunities."
The first period was marked by several penalties, including a short lived 5-3 for the Ephs. In the second period, Ephs' sophomore David Italiano was called roughing in the offensive zone at the tail end of the period, giving the Continentals the man advantage going into the third period. The Ephs were strong on the penalty kill, however. Going into today's contest, the Ephs had been 100% on the penalty kill in conference matches.
The lone goal of the game came at 6:06 of the third period. Hamilton's offensive unit took advantage of a transition odd man rush, and Jonathan Stickel was able to fire one past Pinios. Stickel was assisted on the play by teammate Rory Gagnon. This marked Stickel's second goal as a Continental, and the first against his brother's team. Gagnon collected his third assist on the year.
"In low scoring games it is about capitalizing, and we didn't tonight," said Kangas. "We weren't able to convert on our opportunities. This game is something we are going to reflect on; I think it was a lot of little things. In games like this you see how important every single player is."
The Ephs pulled Pinios in the remaining minutes of play in attempts to settle the score, however Hamilton did not ease up on their pressure, and closed out the game with a 1-0 score. This marked Williams' first conference defeat of the season.
The shotcount at the end of the game was 42-31 for the Ephs, Williams able to get 24 shots off in the second period alone.
"We have come to see how competitive our league is; everyone has a good hockey team, everyone works hard, so the difference is working on the little things," noted Kangas. "Everyone has to do their part over the next couple of weeks to get ready for our next game. We are still early in the season, and the guys are really going to take this to heart, and will build on it, and be ready to get back at it for our next match."
This was the last game of the semester and of the 2015 season for both teams. Hamilton next plays Skidmore on New Year's Day at 4:00 PM. The Ephs next play Adrian on January 2nd at 4:00 PM as a part of the Oswego Classic.