RYE, NY -- The Williams Ephs (9-3-1, 7-1-1 NESCAC) defeated the Manhattanville Valiants (8-7-1, 4-3-0 ECAC West ) 3-1 tonight at the Playland Ice Casino. Sophomore Colby Cretella gave the Ephs the 1-0 lead after the first, and freshman Roberto Cellini scored a shorthanded goal in the second to regain the lead.
This was the fourth straight win for the Ephs, who defeated conference competitors Trinity and Wesleyan last weekend at the Lansing Chapman Rink in Williamstown, MA.
In goal for the Ephs was senior Noah Klag, in net for his sixth start of the season. Coming into this match, Klag sported a .940 save percentage. In net for the Valiants was senior Kurt Williams, defending the crease in his fourth start of the season, who came into this contest with a .913 save percentage.
The first period was scoreless until Cretella got his squad the lead late in the period. At 16:25, Cretella accrued his fifth goal of the season, firing one past netminder Williams after receiving a pass from classmate Joe Welch. Welch as well as junior Sam Gray, were awarded assists on the play. This was Welch's second assist on the season, and Gray's fourth. This goal brought the score to 1-0 after the first 20 minutes of play.
The Ephs furthered their momentum early in the second, doubling their lead just :12 seconds into the period. Junior Alex Hagerty slid one past Williams, claiming his third goal of the season (and third goal in as many games) to give his team a two goal cushion. Hagerty was assisted on the play by senior Matt Werner. This marked Werner's third assist of the season.
The Valiants responded shortly thereafter, bringing the game back to within one. At 4:45 of the second, senior Matt Coleman got one past Klag on a delayed penalty, and was assisted by teammates Phil Dinner and Stephen Gaul. This was Coleman's third goal of the season, cutting Williams' lead in half.
The momentum swung back in the Ephs' favor yet again, at 6:44, when Roberto Cellini scored a shorthanded goal. This was his second goal of the season, bringing the score to 3-1, and rounding out scoring for the period. Junior George Hunkele and senior James McNamara were awarded assists on the play. This was the Ephs' second short handed goal of the season. Coming into this match, the Ephs had been 88.1% on the penalty kill.
Manhattanville came into the third with high energy and displayed dominance in the offensive zone. The Valiants' persistent pressure offensively paid off at 12:13 of the third, bringing the game back to within one. Freshman Cory Anderson fired off his sixth goal of the season, assisted by sophomore Anthony Ragone. This brought the game to its final score of 3-2.
The Valiants pulled Williams for the extra attacker late in the game, but could not tie the score. Tonight marked their third straight loss.
Williams plays Plattsburgh St. tomorrow at 4:00 PM in Williamstown, MA, while the Valiants next face off against Elmira January 22nd, at 7:00 PM.