Williamstown, MA– Williams (1-2-1; 1-1-1 NESCAC) ties Tufts University (4-1-1, 2-0-1 NESCAC), 3-3, in the third conference matchup of the year. Tonight was the Williams senior night game and the team honored their eight seniors: Frankie Mork, James McNamara, Sam Gray, George Hunkele, Luke Stickel, Tyler Young, Alex Hagerty, and Taylor Carmola.
"I thought we did a good job staying with the puck, battling, the whole game," head coach Bill Kangas said. "We showed a great amount of resilience being able to come back to tie it up after being down 2-0 and I think that's really important to see in this team this early in the year."
The Ephs and the Jumbos finished the first period with no goals with 13-10 shots on net respectively. Sophomore Williams goaltender Michael Pinios and Jumbo senior goaltender Mason Pulde each made huge saves, matching each other shot for shot. The Ephs had a late power play when freshman Jordan Haney was called for elbowing with an unintentional blow to the head. They had looks on net but Pulde and the Tufts defensive line held strong and the Ephs could not take the opportunity.
The Ephs came back from the first intermission fired up for action. They were so fired up that they racked up three penalties in the first four minutes of the second period. The squad had to kill a 5 v. 3 after freshman Max Fuld was called for a five minute major misconduct with contact to the head at 2:33 and senior Tyler Young received a two minute minor for high sticking. The Jumbos capitalized on this opportunity and posted the first point on the board at 3:58 into the second period. Tufts junior Brian Brown accepted a pass from freshmen Tyler Scroggins and Anthony Farinacci and scored off a power play.
With Fuld still in the box, the Ephs battled out a shortage of players but enjoyed a 4 v. 4 and even a 4 v. 3 after Tufts had its share of penalties. Freshman Jumbo Ross DeLabreure was called for interference at 4:01 and freshman Jordan Haney received a penalty three seconds later for boarding. The Ephs had several chances on net but could not put any away. Senior Eph Sam Gray made a great defensive play, holding off Tufts' DeLabreure after a loose puck in the neutral zone almost gave him a breakaway from the box.
The penalties settled and the game returned to full strength with Tufts posting another point 12:29 into the second period. Freshman Blake McIntyre was assisted by senior captain Mike Leary and senior Patrick Lackey when he accepted a pass in the middle of the offensive zone and shot it under the pad of Williams goaltender, Michael Pinios.
"That's the game; you have to learn to take tough calls and be able to deal with penalty kill situations," Kangas said. "We were able to get through the remainder of the penalty without giving up another goal and that just shows that we were fighting for every shift tonight."
The final penalty of the period gave Williams another chance to put their first point on the board. Tufts' junior Nick Flanagan was called for interference and the Ephs nearly capitalized with a mad house rush at the Jumbo net. They celebrated a goal but was ultimately not given as the net had come up from its posts in the confusion. Tufts had successfully killed yet another penalty.
But the Ephs were not finished fighting and finally got a goal 15:32 into the second period. Junior David Italiano saw junior C.J. Shugart perched in front of Tufts' goaltender Mason Pulde; Italiano made the cross and Shugart stuffed it into the net, halving their deficit.
The third period started as a nail biter with the Jumbos hitting the crossbar above Pinios' right shoulder. The Ephs regrouped and quickly tied it up just under five minutes into the third with a snap shot by sophomore Roberto Cellini and assisted by junior David Italiano and senior Tyler Young.
Tufts took back the lead with a power play goal after the Ephs were called for too many men on the ice at 10 minutes. The Tufts goal was scored by junior Brian Brown when he hit the top corner off a cross from teammate freshman Tyler Scroggins.
With the clocking ticking down the Ephs tied it up again at three goals with a goal by junior Colby Cretalla after he scored, at 16:46, off the rebound from sophomore Roberto Cellini and senior Luke Stickel.
Both teams lost to the clock, which sent the game into a five minute sudden death overtime. The Ephs had several edge-of-your-seat moments with crucial blocks and near goals but, in the end, both teams walked off the ice with a tied game under their belts.
"We struggled with being too eager tonight and tomorrow we're going to be really focused on playing as a team and for every shift," Kangas said.
The Ephs will try to get their second win of the season tomorrow in Lansing Chapman Ice Rink at 3pm against Connecticut College.