NEW LONDON, CT -- The Williams College Ephs (14-10-1, 9-8-1 NESCAC) defeated the Connecticut College Camels (10-11-4, 9-5-4 NESCAC) 4-2 in Camel territory this evening to advance on to the NESCAC Semifinals next weekend. The Ephs scored three unanswered goals in the second period to secure the win.
"Playoff hockey is like no other," noted Williams head coach Mike Monti. "We knew going into this game that it would be a battle."
In net for the Ephs today was junior Michael Pinios, who made 26 saves in the contest. In net for the Camels was sophomore Connor Rodericks, who made 32 saves in the game.
These two teams faced each other twice earlier on in the regular season. The first time they met, the Ephs came away with a decisive 7-2 victory. In the most recent matchup, the Camels came away with a hard fought 3-2 victory.
While there were no goals scored in the first period, Conn. College was able to get a strong start offensively, shots at 14-9 for the Camels after the first 20 minutes.
The Ephs scored three consecutive goals in the second period. The first came at 5:42, when senior C.J. Shugart (13th goal) fired one past Rodericks on a play assisted by junior Connor Meike (third assist). This brought the score to 1-0.
"The first period, we weathered the storm, made some adjustments in the intermission, and had a strong second period," stated Monti.
The final goal of the period came at 11:06 from sophomore Max Fuld (sixth goal). Fuld was assisted by junior Marcus Mollica (10th assist) and freshman Tyler Scott (10th assist), to bring the game to 3-0 headed into the final period of play.
Connecticut College scored back to back goals in the third to bring the game to within one. The first came at 12:53, from sophomore Jacob Moreau (11th goal), with the assist coming from classmate Ryan Petti (14th assist). This brought the score to 3-1.
Petti was able to cash in on his second point of the game just minutes later. At 15:31, Petti (eighth goal) fired one past Pinios on a play assisted by freshman Brett Stirling (seventh assist). The score was now 3-2 with just under five minutes remaining.
At 18:40, the Camels pulled Rodericks to gain the extra man. This allowed for Shugart to pick up his second goal of the game. Shugart, with his 14th goal of the season, secured the empty netter at 19:29. Cellini (16th assist), who leads his team in points and assists, earned an assist on the play.
"Heading into the third, we talked about how it's tough to end a team's season, and that winning the game would take a price to pay," commented Monti. "Conn. College pressed us, and ultimately capitalized to make it a one goal game."
The game ended with a score of 4-2, the Ephs effectively eliminating the Connecticut College Camels from the NESCAC Championship. Shot count in the third period was 12-9 for the Ephs, game totals coming to 36-28, also for Williams.
With this loss, the Camels' season is concluded. This game marked the last college contest for their five graduating seniors.
"Next week, we get back to practice and focus on Trinity," Monti said.
The Ephs will face Trinity College on the road next Saturday, March 3rd, at 4:30PM.