WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams College Ephs (6-4-0, 5-2-0 NESCAC) defeated the Trinity College Bantams (6-3-2, 3-1-1 NESCAC) 5-1 tonight in the Lansing Chapman Rink. This was the first victory for the Ephs since December 2nd, this win ending their four-game losing streak. Senior goaltender Stephen Morrissey made 30 saves on the night.
The Bantams came into this match with an overall record of 6-2-2, a NESCAC record of 3-0-1. The Ephs came into this match with an overall record of 5-4-0, a conference record of 4-2-0.
This is the first time these teams have faced each other this season. Last season, the Ephs were defeated by the Bantams in the NESCAC Tournament Semifinals.
"A lot of pieces came together tonight that really needed to," stated Williams head coach Mike Monti. "We knew Trinity was a strong team coming in. They play a high pace game. For us to have success and really be good in this league, we need to learn a lot about ourselves- especially following last weekend at the Codfish Bowl."
In net for the Bantams tonight was senior Alex Morin, who came into this contest with a .932 save percentage. The starting netminder for the Ephs tonight was Stephen Morrissey. Morrissey came into this match with a .898 save percentage.
At 12:18 of the first period, a penalty was called on Bantam freshman James Callahan for cross-checking, giving the Ephs the first man advantage of the game. Coming into this match, the Ephs had a 24.3% conversion rate with the extra man.
At 13:32, a second penalty was called against Trinity, this time against sophomore Andy Chugg for boarding. At 13:54, Williams was able to bring the game to 1-0 after converting on the 5-3 opportunity. Senior C.J. Shugart started the play with the puck behind the Bantam net, passing to junior Roberto Cellini on the left point, who made a crisp pass to senior David Italiano. Italiano (fifth goal), on a one timer from the left circle, was able to beat Morin high on the glove side to give his team the lead headed into the second period. Shugart (third assist) and Cellini (sixth assist) earned assists on the play.
Cellini was subsequently called to the penalty box around a minute later, giving the Bantams an opportunity to equalize, however the Ephs successfully killed this man advantage opportunity.
At 18:35, a penalty was called against Italiano for tripping, giving the Bantams the extra man for the remainder of the period.
After the first 20 minutes of play shots were an even 10-10.
At 5:21, the Bantams were able to get the equalizer to bring the game to 1-1. Freshman Dylan Healey (second assist) brought the puck behind the Williams net, and made a quick pass in front to junior Mark Knowlton (first goal) who was in the left pocket, primed to get a quick shot off. Knowlton was able to fire one past Morrissey to bring the game to 1-1.
At 8:13, the Ephs were able to recapture the lead to bring the score to 2-1. On a 2-1 offensive rush, sophomore Will Somers got a shot off coming down the right side, strategically positioning his shot so the puck rebounded off of Morin's pad to give freshman Nick VanBelle the perfect chance to fire one through. This marked VanBelle's third goal of the season, and this was the second assist of the season for Somers.
At 10:35, the Bantams were given the opportunity to equalize again, after C.J. Shugart was called to the box on account of goaltender interference.
At 12:07 coinciding roughing penalties were called against Trinity's Barclay Gammill and Eph freshman Jack McCool.
At 16:57, the Ephs were given another power play opportunity after Bantam senior Griffyn Martin was called to the box for interference.
The Ephs capitalized on this power play, making quick work of extra man opportunity, and extending their lead to two goals at 15:26. Eph sophomore Peter Christie fired off a wrist shot from the point, which was able to get through all of the activity in front of the net to ultimately find its way in the back of the net. Christie (first goal) was assisted on the play by Italiano (fourth assist) and Jack McCool (first assist).
"Special teams were great tonight, again credit to coach Borges on the power play and the penalty kill, the guys were excellent," praised Monti. "Certainly a lot more penalties than we would have liked to have taken, but the boys responded in a way that was successful."
At 19:29, the Ephs were able to solidify a three goal lead after making a quick play off of a faceoff in the right circle. Shugart won the faceoff, passed the puck to classmate Italiano, who fired off a quick shot. Shugart battled for positioning in front of the net and was able to fire off a quick shot off of Italiano's rebound to make its way past Morin. This goal brought the game to 4-1 headed into the final period of play, Shugart (sixth goal) assisted by Peter Christie (fourth assist) and Jack McCool (second assist).
Shots were 25-21 for the Bantams after two periods of play.
At 12:42, sophomore Wyatt Glover cashed in on his first goal of the season after converting on a 3-2 odd man rush. Glover's shot came from a bad angle, way down on the left side. Glover was assisted on the play by VanBelle (second assist) and junior Connor Meike (first assist). This goal brought the score to 5-1.
"One of the things we've really worked on is puck possession, really forcing teams to have to take the puck away from us," noted Monti. "The term that we've been using is 'dog on a bone mentality'; I thought we did a great job. We spent quite a bit of time as well on d-zone this week, and I think the boys did a really nice job of showing that."
At 15:54, Bantam freshman James Callahan was called to the box for roughing, and Eph Cellini was called to the box for tripping, allowing for 4-4 play for two minutes.
The game ended with a score of 5-1. Shots on goal ended at 31-27 for the Bantams.
Williams faces Wesleyan on home ice tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 PM. Trinity faces Middlebury on the road tomorrow, puck drop occurring at 4:00 PM.
"For tomorrow, we're going to need a lot more of the same of what we saw tonight," Monti ascertained. "I talked to the boys and said that this [tonight's play] is the identity that we need to stick to. Wesleyan is riding a streak, as well; they've got a great record, and we're excited to have them in our building and play them tomorrow."