Williams Edges Amherst 4-3

Eph's celebrate
Eph's celebrate

WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS -- The Williams College men's ice hockey team (3-2-1/NESCAC 3-1-1) scored two goals in the first period and two in the third period to down arch rival Amherst College (Amherst – 3-3-1/NESCAC 0-3-1) 4-3.

Williams tallied the first two goals of the game and the last two, while Amherst netted three in between. Six of the seven goals in the game came via the power play and all came on special teams play with a short-handed tally added to the mix.

Amherst was 3-5 on the power play and Williams was 3-6 in the contest.

Williams went on the power play at 5:38 of the first period as Amherst's Phil Johansson was called for holding behind the Amherst net.

Less than one minute later the Ephs got on the scoreboard with the man advantage. Colby Cretella converted off a pass from the boards out to the right of Girard. Luke Stickel dug the puck off the boards and hit Cretella on the left doorstep, where he re-directed the pass into the net at 6:28.

The Ephs soon doubled their lead. At 9:22 the Ephs were back on the power play with Amherst's John Festa being whistled for interference. Just nine seconds into the power play the Ephs converted on a blast from the blue line by James McNamara that was tipped in by C.J. Shugart. Sam Gray was also credited with an assist as he fed McNamara at the blue line.

The Ephs' 2-goal lead was sliced in half when Amherst capitalized on their first power play opportunity. The Ephs' Sam Gray was sent off for two minutes for hooking at 11:39 and Amherst needed just two shots and seven seconds to tally their first goal.

Amherst's Tyler Granara tried to shoot off the faceoff and his attempt was blocked, but it caromed to P.J. Conlon who set up David White for the score at 11:46.

The pace of play and action picked up immensely after the White goal as the Amherst attack was energized by the goal and they challenged Eph goalie Michael Pinios with three shots.

Amherst's Austin Ho put the Ephs on the power play for the third time in the period when he was called for elbowing at 16:35. The Ephs turned up the offensive pressure on Amherst, firing off three god shots, but Girard was equal to the task and kept the score at 2-1, Williams.

With one minute left in the opening period the Ephs put Amherst back on the power play when Williams was charged with having too many men on the ice.

The Eph penalty kill unit held Amherst at bay for the first minute of the penalty, but Amherst carried the man advantage into the first minute of the second period.

Williams took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission and all three first period goals came on the power play. Amherst's Connor Girard stopped six of the Ephs' eight shots, while Eph goalie Michael Pinios turned aside six of seven Amherst attempts.

Williams' penalty kill unit successfully killed of the remaining minute of the too many men on the ice penalty with Pinios making two saves.

The first nine minutes of the second period saw the Ephs' Michael Pinios being required on to make four saves, while Amherst's Connor Girard was only needed to make one save as both teams were flying up and down the ice sheet in Lansing Chapman Rink.

The Ephs' Roberto Cellini was sent off for two minutes for boarding at 10:46 putting Amherst on the power play.

Eph goalie Michael Pinios denied two threatening shots from Amherst, but the third by David White at 11:54, set up by Tyler Granara, tied the contest at two.

The fifth goal of the game also came on a power play, when the Ephs' Wyatt Glover was called for roughing at 13:16. The go-ahead goal for Amherst came at 13:43 when Patrick Mooney's long shot bounced off Pinios into the circle to Pinios's right and Tyler Granara rifled it into the net.

Williams went on the power play at 15:08 when Amherst's Chris Roll was sent off for holding. The Ephs tested Girard with shots from David Italiano and C.J. Shugart, but he denied both threats, keeping Amherst in the lead 3-2.

Fourteen seconds after coming out of the penalty box, Amherst's Chris Roll was sent off for holding at 17:22. The Ephs had a 5-3 advantage briefly when Amherst's David White was whistled for boarding at 18:34.

The Ephs' Frankie Mork fired on goal from 10 yards out to the right of Girard and his shot got past Girard, but it struck the pipe and came back into play, keeping the score 3-2 in Amherst's favor.

Through two periods Amherst's Connor Girard had stopped 12 of 14 Eph shots and the Ephs' Michael Pinios registered 14 saves on 17 shots.

Amherst was 3-4 on power plays through the first two periods, while Williams converted on 2 of 6 chances with the man advantage.

Williams opened the third period with the man advantage as there were 34 seconds remaining on the White penalty when the second period ended.

Amherst killed off the remaining 34 seconds of the White penalty without allowing the Ephs a shot.

Six minutes into the third period Williams' James McNamara was sent off for tripping.

On a penalty kill the Ephs' Peter Christie snagged an Amherst pass in the Eph defensive zone and fed Roberto Cellini into the neutral zone where he out skated an Amherst defender to come in alone on Connor Girard. Several fakes left Cellini with a chance to slide the puck past Girard's right pad to knot the game at 3 at 7:17 of the third period. Cellini's goal was short-handed.

Amherst's Austin Ho collected his third penalty of the night at 9:20 and this one was a major penalty of five minutes for clipping.

In the first two minutes the Ephs peppered Girard, but he was up to the task getting a stick on one tester and his right pad on another to keep the game tied.

After an Amherst clear the Ephs were back again with a one-time laser from the right dot from C.J. Shugart that was kicked away by Girard. That was followed by a shot form the left circle by David Italiano that was deflected on the way to the net and it trickled tantalizingly close, but just wide of the left post.

Italiano was not to be denied though as he was back with a blast for the lower left circle that Girard got a pad on, but the puck went up over the pad into the net at 13:05 to put the Ephs up 4-3. Italiano's goal was the third Eph power play score of the night, equaling the Amherst total.

At 16:53 Joey Lupo fired on Pinios off a faceoff from eight yards out by the Eph goalie was able to hold the puck against his body and out of the net.

The Ephs' Alex Hagerty had a chance to ice the contest at 18:23 when he collected loose puck and came in alone on Girard, but his bid hit Girard's stick and went into the netting up above the glass and out of play.

After Amherst was called for icing with 29.4 seconds left Amherst coach Jack Arena called timeout before the faceoff deep in the Amherst end.

Out of the time out Amherst controlled the puck and they were able to get one shot on Pinios who dove to his left to make the save as time expired and giving Williams a hard fought 4-3 win.

On the night the Ephs' Michael Pinios made 22 saves, while Amherst's Connor Girard turned aside 19 Eph attempts.

Next up for the Ephs is a home contest tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m. versus Hamilton, while Amherst will remain on the road and play at Middlebury tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.

With the win the Ephs now lead the all-time series vs. Amherst 92-38-4.

Next up for the Ephs is a home contest tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m. versus Hamilton, while Amherst will remain on the road and play at Middlebury tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.

After the contest Eph head coach stated, "Every game is different game. I just think that's the way hockey is. Both teams and goalies played well and we were fortunate to score one more goal.

Kangas added, "All special teams play is important and I thought our guys did a good job going up 2-0 and then responding when we were down 3-2. Roberto Cellini's short-handed goal was big and it came at a good time."

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