MIDDLETOWN, CT -- The Williams Ephs (15-4-1, 11-2-1 NESCAC) came away with a narrow 4-3 victory over the Wesleyan Cardinals (2-11-8, 2-6-7 NESCAC) this afternoon at the Spurrier-Snyder Rink. The Ephs scored three goals in the second period to propel them to another four-point weekend.
The Cardinals faced off against Middlebury yesterday, coming away with a 3-3 tie. Williams and Trinity battled last night to a game decided in overtime, Williams ultimately coming away with the 5-4 win.
Senior netminder Noah Klag made 27 saves for the Ephs today, while Dawson Sprigings made 28 saves in net for the Cardinals.
This is the second straight game the Ephs have let in two unanswered goals in the first period. The first goal came at 7:17, when senior Jaren Taenaka fired through his sixth goal on the season. Taenaka was assisted on the play by classmate Alex Carlacci (eighth assist). This gave the Cardinals the early 1-0 lead.
Wesleyan doubled their lead just nine minutes later, when at 16:09 of the first, freshman Andy Espinoza got one past Klag off of assists from classmate Sean Ross, who contributed on the play for his first point as a Cardinal, and senior Terence Durkin (third assist). This brought the game to 2-0 going into the locker rooms headed into the second.
The Ephs mounted a strong comeback in the second period of play, scoring three unanswered goals. The first came at 7:19 of the period, when freshman Roberto Cellini scored an unassisted goal, his fourth goal on the season. This cut the Cardinal lead in half.
The tying goal came at 10:50 of the second, when senior defenseman Greg Johnson scored his first of the season, assisted on the play by Cellini (seventh assist) and junior Frankie Mork (sixth assist).
The Ephs scored their final goal of the period at 15:16, a goal for the Ephs despite being on the penalty kill. At 14:09, the Ephs were called for too many men on the ice, resulting in a two minute minor power play for the Cardinals. Wesleyan lost possession of the puck, and junior Tyler Young scored an unassisted shorthanded goal, his eighth on the season, beating Sprigings on the play. The Ephs went into the third period with a 3-2 lead.
The Ephs extended their lead to two goals at 7:17 of the third period, bringing the game to 4-2, when Cellini scored his second of the game (fifth goal of season, third point of game) on a play assisted by Johnson (fourth assist) and sophomore David Italiano (12th assist).
The Cardinals were only able to cut their deficit in half in the remaining minutes. Freshman Michael Lata went to the penalty box at 13:54 for holding, giving Wesleyan the power play opportunity. Subsequently, at 14:35, freshman Vincent Lima scored his first career goal as a Cardinal and was assisted by Andy Espinoza (seventh assist). This goal brought the game to its final score of 4-3 in favor of the Ephs.
This game marks the Ephs' fifth straight win, and tenth win in 11 games. Williams next takes on Middlebury at home on February 11th at 7:00 PM. Wesleyan next plays at Bowdoin on February 13th at 7:00 PM.