WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams Ephs (16-4-1, 12-2-1 NESCAC) defeated the Middlebury Panthers (6-9-6, 5-4-6 NESCAC) 5-4 tonight at the Lansing Chapman Rink. After scoring three consecutive goals in the third period, the Ephs gave themselves the opportunity to play extra minutes, and sophomore Colby Cretella ultimately scored the game deciding goal.
This was the first time these two teams have faced off against one another all season. Last winter, these two teams split their season series, Middlebury winning in the first game 2-0, and Williams defeating the Panthers the next day 5-4.
In goal for the Panthers was senior Liam Moorfield-Yee. This was Moorfield-Yee's eighth start of the season. Coming into this match, Moorfield-Yee had an overall save percentage of .920. In net for the Ephs was freshman Michael Pinios. Pinios came into his twelfth start this season with a .946 save percentage.
The Ephs played Wesleyan Sunday, winning 4-3 after being down by two. Middlebury played Trinity on Saturday, and were defeated 4-1.
Middlebury got out to a 1-0 lead just past the midway mark of the first period. At 10:40, senior Zach Haggerty was fed a nice pass from the blueline, getting past three Ephs in the neutral zone to have a breakaway on Pinios. Haggerty was able to beat Pinios off of a backhander, scoring his fifth goal of the season. Haggerty was assisted on the play by classmate Jake Charles (third assist) and freshman Matt Doherty (third assist).
At 16:24 of the first, the Ephs responded to tie the game at one. Ephs' senior captain Zander Masucci (tenth assist) stifled a Panthers two on one opportunity in the Eph defensive zone. Sophomore C.J. Shugart (fifth assist) then got possession in the neutral zone and fed sophomore Dan Doherty a great outlet pass. Subsequently, Doherty fired off a wrist shot, going top shelf and beating Moorfield-Yee on the play to bring the game to 1-1 heading into the locker rooms. This was Doherty's third goal of the season.
Middlebury recaptured the lead at 6:09 of the second period. On a three on two opportunity, Zach Haggerty was able to pick up a loose puck in the crease and slide one past Pinios off of a shot from Matt Doherty (fourth assist). This was Haggerty's second goal of the game (sixth goal of season), as well as Doherty's second assist. Jake Charles also picked up his second assist of the night, and fourth of the season, on the play. This goal brought the score to 2-1.
Middlebury extended their lead to two goals at 18:30 of the second period. Right as a Panther power play expired, senior Ronald Fishman fired one off from the point. The shot was deflected past Pinios on the play, bringing the game to 3-1 for the Panthers. Fishman was credited with the goal on the play, his third of the season, and was assisted by Evan Neugold (12th assist).
The Ephs brought it back to within one at 4:51 of the the third period. Junior George Hunkele got one past Moorfield-Yee off of an assist from sophomore Joe Welch (fourth assist). This was Hunkele's seventh goal of the season, and the score was now 3-2.
The Ephs scored the game tying goal at 8:24 of the third period. Junior Sam Gray was able to fire one through off of a play assisted by Welch (fifth assist) and Colby Cretella (third assist).
At 13:53 of the third period, the Ephs scored their third consecutive goal to gain the lead for the first time in the contest. Junior Frankie Mork scored his first goal of the season, and was assisted on the play by sophomore David Italiano (13th assist) and Roberto Cellini (third assist).
The Panthers responded to bring the game to 4-4 on the power play. At 14:48 of the third period, Cretella was called to the penalty box for cross checking, giving Middlebury the man advantage. Sophomore Zach Weier scored his first goal of the season on the power play, and was assisted by Fishman (tenth assist) and Neugold (13th assist).
At 1:00 into overtime, Cretella scored his sixth goal of the season, bringing the Ephs their third straight victory after coming back from a two-goal deficit. Cretella was assisted on the play by Dan Doherty (third assist) and Hunkele (seventh assist). This brought the game to its final score of 5-4.
With the win the Ephs extended their current win streak to six.
Shot count at the end of the game was 50-30 in the Ephs' favor.
The Ephs and Panthers will square off again tomorrow this time in Middlebury, VT at 7:00 p.m.