MEDFORD, MA -- The Williams Ephs (4-0-0, 3-0-0 NESCAC) defeated the Tufts Jumbos (1-4-1, 0-2-1 NESCAC) tonight in Jumbo territory. This win extends the team's undefeated season, as goals came from four different members of the squad, with junior Marcus Mollica sporting a three point game.
Williams coach Mike Monti spoke to the team wide contributions thus far in the season: "It's great that we are getting scoring from more than one source, and that's important. But it's really all of the little plays, that all18 skaters make throughout the game: blocking shots, chipping pucks to space, playing hard in all three zones."
In net for the Ephs was senior Stephen Morrissey. Morrissey made an impressive 30 saves on the night to lead his team to victory. In the opposing crease for Tufts was senior Nik Nugnes. Nugnes made 25 saves in the match.
Monti commented on Morrissey's impressive play this evening: "Mo played great in net tonight. He made some key saves in the game."
The Ephs scored four unanswered goals across the first 42 minutes of play in contest. The first of these came towards the end of the first period. At 14:34, junior Keanu Hilaire scored his second goal of the year. Hilaire was assisted on the play by classmate Marcus Mollica (second assist).
Williams padded their lead to two goals shortly thereafter on the man advantage. At 16:00, freshman defenseman Jack McCool scored the first goal of his Williams career, after a power play opportunity presented itself due to Jumbo Peter Hatton being called to the box at 14:34 for holding. McCool's goal was off of an assist from Mollica (third assist), Mollica picking up his second assist in as many goals.
The first period ended with a 2-0 lead for Williams, shots 14-5 for the Ephs headed into the next 20 minutes of play.
The squad took no time to continue pushing forward with their momentum in the second period, scoring their third goal of the game just 42 seconds after puck drop. Freshman forward Nick VanBelle picked up his second goal of his career on a play facilitated by classmate Myles Cunningham (third assist) and linemate senior C.J. Shugart (second assist). This brought the score to 3-0, and was the sole goal on either side for the second period of play. Shot count for the period was a lopsided 16-4 for Tufts, the Ephs able to stave off an offensive surge from the Jumbos in the second period of play.
Williams scored their fourth and final goal of the game at just 1:28 into the final period. Junior Marcus Mollica (second goal) was able to get one past Nugnes on a play assisted by sophomore Max Fuld (first assist). This marked Mollica's third point of the game.
Around five minutes later, the Jumbos got their first one past the Eph defensive unit. At 6:55, sophomore Jordan Haney got one through Morrissey on an unassisted effort, picking up his first goal of the season. This brought the goal deficit down to three for the Jumbos, the score now 4-1. Tufts senior Dan Kelly got his first goal of the season, after firing one past Morrissey on a play assisted by sophomore Anthony Farinacci (first assist). This brought the game to its final score of 4-2.
Shot count in the third period was an even 11-11, bringing game totals to 32-29, tipping just in favor of the Jumbos.
This win for Williams marks their fourth straight win of the season, most notably their first win on the road. "Tonight was a different kind of challenge," reflected Monti.
"We've had the luxury of playing our first three games at home, but playing road hockey takes a slight adjustment to the mindset," Monti continued. "We talked a lot about that this week: what it takes to be competitive on the road."
Tufts faces Middlebury at home tomorrow at 4:00 PM.
"Conn is coming off a win tonight. They play hard, and it will be a battle," Monti noted regarding tomorrow's matchup against Connecticut College. Tonight Conn. College faced Middlebury, coming away with a decisive 5-0 victory. Williams continues their weekend on the road, puck drop taking place at 3:00 PM tomorrow at Connecticut College.