On Tuesday afternoon February 16 the NCAA released
its first regional rankings and the Ephs are ranked
second in the East behind Hobart.
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – When a team wins a fourth consecutive NESCAC contest by overcoming two-goal deficits in each contest and boosts its win streak to seven it tends to get noticed.
In the USCHO.com poll the Ephs moved into fifth place, up one spot from sixth. The USCHO.com poll has the Ephs ranked second in the East behind second ranked Plattsburgh State.
The Ephs defeated Plattsburgh State 3-2 at home back on January 16. Plattsburgh State is currently ranked No. 2 in both national polls. The only ranked team to defeat Williams is Adrian College (currently No. 3 in both national polls) back on January 2 in a tournament at Oswego State. Adrian scored four unanswered goals in the second period to down the Ephs 4-1.
The Ephs own a 3-2 win over Trinity at home and a 5-4 OT victory at Trinity, giving them a 3-1 record versus nationally ranked teams.
In the d3hockey.com poll Williams moved up from seventh to sixth.
Bill Kangas's Williams men's ice hockey team (17-4-1/13-2-1 NESCAC) is now sporting a three-point lead in the NESCAC standings over defending NCAA champion and second place Trinity. Williams needs one point in its two remaining regular season contests, both home games, to clinch first place in the NESCAC regular season.
A first place regular season finish would assure the Ephs home ice throughout the NESCAC Tournament. Earlier this season in December the Ephs tied at Amherst 2-2 and lost at Hamilton 1-0 and those two games immediately preceded the loss to Adrian College, which was the game before the Ephs fashioned their skein of 12 wins in their last 13 games. The lone loss for the Ephs in the last 13 games was a 1-0 shutout at Bowdoin.
Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Williams will host archrival Amherst and on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. they will close out the regular season hosting Hamilton in Lansing Chapman Rink.
The Ephs have been so hot of late that in each of the last three weeks an Eph player has been selected the NESCAC Player of the Week: junior forward Tyler Young won three weeks ago, followed by first year forward Roberto Cellini, and this week sophomore forward Colby Cretella was honored.
Recently senior defenseman Zander Masucci was one of three NESCAC players named a semifinalist for the Joe Concannon Award given to the top American-born New England Division II-III player.
Williams ranks second in NESCAC in goals scored per game having netted 45 for a 2.81 average.
The Ephs are ninth in NESCAC in penalty minutes per game, averaging just 6.9 per contest. Williams has successfully killed off 43 of 49 penalties for a conference best percentage of 87.8. The Ephs have the third best NESCAC power play scoring nine goals in 48 tries (18.8%).