Ephs Seal the 6-3 Win Against Colby with Two Empty Net Goals

Nick VanBelle '21
Nick VanBelle '21

Williamstown, MA–Williams (11-4-1, 7-2-1 NESCAC) beat the Colby White Mules (6-7-3, 3-6-2 NESCAC) 6-3.

The game last night was a nail biter for the first 55 minutes of play with no goals scored by either Williams or Bowdoin until the last 5 minutes where the Ephs fired two quick goals to win the game. Not wanting to repeat another 55 minutes of scoreless play, the Ephs scored two consecutive goals late in the first period to go two up going into the second period.

Off of a Colby penalty at 18:01 from junior Paddy Daley's tripping offense, junior Wyatt Glover had a wide open shot after the shot from sophomore Tyler Scott came loose and pulled Colby netminder, junior Andrew Tucci, away from his posts.

Shortly after Glover's goal at 18:36, the Ephs scored a full strength goal at 19:03. This time, sophomore Nick VanBelle scored off the rebound from senior Marcus Mollica and Roberto Cellini.

The pace of play picked up in the second period with Colby making more aggressive charges at the Eph defense line in hopes of scoring their first goal. Even with the advances from the White Mules, it was the Ephs that kept finding the back of Tucci's net. The first Eph goal in the second period was at 8:38 when freshman Nick Altmann back-handed a rebound around Tucci. He was assisted by senior Connor Meike.

Just two minutes after Altmann's goal, freshman Mike Armstrong muscled one past Tucci from the blue line. Altmann was assisted by classmate Niko Karamanis.

The Ephs were working hard to keep shots away from senior netminder Michael Pinios to log Pinio's third shutout in a row. Colby, on the other hand, was desperate for their first goal of the game. The tug-of-war action was not sustainable for the entire third period and the Ephs were the first to break. Just after the halfway point of the period at 10:50, the White Mules logged their first goal of the game. Freshman Michael Morrissey got one past Pinios to cut the Eph lead down to three.

Just seconds later, Colby got some good misfortune when a seemingly wide shot deflected in off the post. The goal came at 9:22 and was scored by freshman Brian Sanzone with the assist from freshman Quinn Doyle. Sanzone's goal halved the Eph lead, 4-2.

With the momentum shifted to the White Mules in just a few short minutes, the Ephs scrambled to get their rhythm back.

Still, with Williams skating sharp, Colby got another goal at 15:10 when commotion in front of the Williams crease resulted in senior Mick O'Connor sliding the puck past PInois.

O'Connor's goal left the score at 4-3 and the only one-goal deficit changed the momentum of the game once again. There was tension on the ice and hits were getting harder. Glover's hit late in the third period sent him to the box for interference at 17:01.

Glover's penalty left the White Mules a golden opportunity to score the equalizer they needed to send the game into overtime. Colby pressed into the Williams zone but the Ephs were steadfast and successfully killed the penalty.

With only a minute left to play, Colby head coach, Blaise MacDonald, pulled Tucci from between the pipes to maintain the man advantage over the Ephs.

In the last minute of play, the Ephs managed two empty net goals: 19:23 from Armstrong and 19:46 from Karamanis, assisted by junior Will Somers.

The two empty netters sealed the win for the Ephs and results in their fourth straight win.

"Today was a good game for us because it proved to us that hockey needs to be played until the final buzzer, even four goals up early in the game," Eph head coach Bill Kangas said. "Colby played great and their efforts weren't necessarily showing because of how hard our guys defended today. Every game is different and our league is tough so I think today's game was a good reminder of what we have to keep doing to finish the season strong."

Next up for the Ephs is a road conference contest at Tufts on Friday at 7pm.



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