MEDFORD, MA -- The Williams Ephs (9-5-3, 6-2-3 NESCAC) defeated the Tufts Jumbos (7-7-3, 5-5-1 NESCAC) 5-4 tonight in Jumbo territory. Williams was down 2-0 after the first 20 minutes of play, but came back to score five goals from five different players to take the victory.
In net for the Ephs tonight was junior Stephen Morrissey. Morrissey came into this match with a .946 save percentage. In the opposing crease was junior Nik Nugnes, who came into this match with a save percentage of .922. Morrissey made 35 saves on the night, while Nugnes made 27.
The last time these two teams faced each other was in early December in Williamstown, where the two teams tied 3-3 after overtime play.
Tufts was able to get off to an early lead tonight, scoring the only two goals of the first period (both goals took place in the last two minutes of the first period). The first goal came at 18:34, when senior Conal Lynch scored his first goal of the season to bring the game to 1-0. Lynch was assisted on the play by freshman Jordan Haney (second assist) and junior Brian Brown (ninth assist).
The second unanswered goal for Tufts came at 19:37 of the first, when Brian Brown was able to get one past Morrissey for his second point of the night (eighth goal). Freshmen Tyler Scroggins (eighth assist) and Anthony Farinacci (seventh assist) earned assists on the play, bringing the score to 2-0 headed into the locker rooms.
The Ephs got on the board fairly quickly in the second period. At 3:59, Eph junior Colby Cretella (fourth goal) fired one past Nugnes to get his team on the board. Senior Frankie Mork (11th assist) earned an assist on the play, the score now 2-1 for Tufts.
Just 51 seconds later, the Ephs evened the score at 2-2. At 4:50, on an effort executed solely by members of the senior class, Tyler Young (fifth goal) was able to find the back of the net on a play assisted by James McNamara (fifth assist) and Sam Gray (11th assist).
Tufts recaptured the lead at 8:15 of the second period after finding themselves on the man advantage after Williams junior C.J. Shugart went to the box for tripping. Coming into this match, Tufts had been successful on the man advantage 18.4% of the time. Freshman Machlan Sawden (third goal) was able to get one past Morrissey, after receiving a pass from Jordan Haney, who picked up his second assist of the night and third assist of the season. This brought the score to 3-2 for the Jumbos.
At 15:44 of the second period, the Ephs were able to tie the game once again, this goal also coming on the power play. At 14:58, Jumbo freshman Cooper Stahl was called to the box for interference, giving the Ephs the power play opportunity. Coming into this match, Williams had an impressive 30.3% conversion rate on the man advantage. Senior Alex Hagerty (fifth goal) fired a shot past Nugnes on a play facilitated by sophomore Roberto Cellini (ninth assist) and senior Luke Stickel (sixth assist). This brought the score to 3-3 headed into the third period of play.
Tufts again regained the lead at 12:28 of the third period. On a solo effort, sophomore Nick Balboa was able to convert on an unassisted play to score his third goal of the season. This goal brought the score to 4-3 with just over seven minutes of play remaining in the contest.
At 17:01, the Ephs tied the game for the third time. Roberto Cellini (tenth goal) was able to earn his second point of the game by mustering one past Nugnes. Cellini was assisted on the play by Frankie Mork (12th assist, second of the game), the score now 4-4 with under three minutes of play remaining.
Just 16 seconds later, Williams was able to score the game winning goal, a goal representing the Ephs capturing the lead for the first time in the entire game. Senior Taylor Carmola scored his first goal of the season to bring his team the victory. Mork (13th assist, third of the game) and freshman Wyatt Glover (first assist) were awarded assists on the play.
The game ended with the final score of 5-4 for Williams. Shot count was in favor of Tufts, 39-32.
Williams next faces Connecticut College on the road tomorrow at 3:00 PM EST. Tufts next faces Middlebury at home tomorrow at 4:00 PM EST.