Northfield, Vt.–The Williams Ephs (4-2-2, 3-1-2 NESCAC) upset the Oswego State Lakers (10-2-0, 8-1-0 SUNYAC), ranked first in the country, 4-3. Senior Tyler Young scored the winning goal in the first two minutes of overtime to give Williams a spot in the championship game in the Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament hosted by #5 Norwich University.
"This was a good game for our guys; we did a good job taking it shift by shift and making big plays when we needed to," Eph head coach Bill Kangas said.
The Ephs got an early opportunity with a penalty against Oswego St. senior Chris Raguseo, who received a two-minute tripping minor 3:34 into the first period. Williams capitalized on the early one-man advantage with junior C.J. Shugart's goal at 3:47. He was assisted by seniors Frankie Mork and Sam Gray.
The Lakers halved the Eph lead with a power play goal of their own at 12:14 into the second period. The Williams penalty was called on freshman Peter Christie for roughing at 10:27. The Oswego St. goal was scored by junior Mitchell Herlihey and assisted by seniors Matt Zawadzki and Chris Raguseo. Less than a minute later, the Lakers tied up the game with a goal at 13 minutes into the second. The goal was scored by senior Kenny Neil and he was assisted by seniors Shawn Hulshof and Matt Galati.
Both teams made valiant efforts to take the lead into the second intermission, but both failed by the end of the second period, keeping the game tied at 2 at the start of the third period.
The Ephs came out of the locker room energized and fought to get ahead early in the period with a goal by senior Alex Hagerty at 2:56. Hagerty was assisted by junior Colby Cretella and senior Luke Stickel.
The score remained at 3-2 for the better part of the final period but a Williams penalty at 17:43 for too many players on the ice made for a tense final couple of minutes with Oswego St. senior netminder Matt Zawadzki out of the net. Another penalty against Williams junior Colby Cretella for slashing gave the Lakers a three-man advantage and an opportunity to tie up the game. With the Lakers' goalie out of the net, senior Matt Galati scored 21 seconds short of the buzzer sending the game into five-minute 4v4 overtime.
Cretella's penalty carried over from regulation time so the Ephs started extra time with a one-man deficit. The game quickly turned to 3v3 with an Oswego St. penalty just 54 seconds into overtime when senior Shawn Hulshof was called for hitting from behind. With Cretella out of the box, the Ephs, now on a power play, quickly regrouped and and setup the play that would result in the winning goal. Senior Tyler Young rebounded senior Frankie Mork's shot at 1:34 to win the game for the Ephs and a spot in the championship game tomorrow against the winner of the Norwich/Nazareth matchup that followed.
"Oswego did a good job challenging us in a lot of different areas and I think all the kids reacted well and pitched in," Kangas said. "Mork and Young were able to come together to make the big game winning play but this was a good team win for us. But, at the same time, this is just one win and we're always looking to improve in every game."