|Zander Masucci '16|
|Tyler Young '17|
|Michael Pinios '19|
HADLEY, MA – Three players on Bill Kangas' Williams College 2015-16 hockey team (18-5-2) have earned All-NESCAC honors along with Kangas himself. The Ephs finished the year with a NESCAC regular season record of 14-2-2 to finish in first place for the first time since NESCAC play began.
Senior captain and defenseman Zander Masucci was named to the All-Conference First Team and named the NESCAC Player of the Year.
"Zander's been an amazing leader in all aspects of our team and he has translated that into his strong play leading the team in minutes, shots blocked, and plus/minus," Kangas noted. Zander is a key reason why we allowed the fewest power play goals and yet also had the most successful power play in the league. He's a guy we've leaned on quite a bit. He is one of the top scoring defensemen in the league and he scored both game-winning goals against Trinity. He is most deserving of the Player of the Year Award."
Masucci is the first Eph to be named the NESCAC Player of the Year since Alex Smigelski in 2010 and he is the fourth defenseman overall to earn the award. He is also a semifinalist for the Joe Concannon Award given to New England's top Division II-III American-born player.
Masucci is third on the Ephs in points this season having tallied seven goals and assisted on 11 for 18 points. Three of Masucci's goals have come on the power play and two were goal game-winners versus Trinity. In 97 games at Williams Masucci has netted 12 goals and registered 26 assists for 38 points.
Tyler Young is second on the Eph squad this season in points with 19. Young has scored eight goals and assisted on 11. Two of Young's tallies this season have come while the Ephs were short-handed and he has scored one on a power play and owns one game-winner. In his Eph career Young has netted 20 goals, while assisting on 34 for 54 points.
"Tyler is another of our great leaders as a junior and an assistant captain," noted Kangas. "He's a strong power forward that also does a lot for us on the forecheck. He plays in all situations for us and he made several big plays for us this season."
Michael Pinios is the first Eph player to earn Rookie of the Year honors in NESCAC. He has appeared in 16 of 25 games in his debut season, playing 964:17. He has stopped 408 of 434 shots for a .940 save percentage. He sports a goals against average of 1.62 and owns a record of 12-3-1. He has authored two shutouts.
"We're pretty lucky to have three good goalies," Kangas stated. "Michael and senior Noah Klag have worked well together allowing Michael to get comfortable at Williams and with his game. Michael has had a great year for us. He is really competitive but also really humble."
Kangas, now in his 27th year at the helm of the Ephs, was voted the NESCAC Coach of the Year for leading his Ephs to first place in the regular season by compiling a NESCAC record of 14-4-0. The Ephs are currently 18-5-1.
The 18 wins ties the Williams' best season win total set previously by Eph teams coached by Kangas in 1992-93, 1997-98, and 1998-99. The Ephs are 13-2-1 in their last 16 games of this season.
This year's Eph team also tied the Williams school record in Division III play for consecutive in-season wins with 8, which was first achieved in 2005-06.
Kangas is the all-time leader in wins at Williams in men's ice hockey with 369. His overall record is 369-245-61.
"It's all about team and it all starts with the seniors and the captains," said Kangas. "We have a great group of kids who are willing to train hard and play hard and we play with a high level of consistency. We lost one game in November, one in December, two in January and one in February, so it has been a special season for the boys. We're very proud of finishing first in the NESCAC regular season."