Middlebury, VT–Williams (14-6-2, 10-6-2 NESCAC) halve the Middlebury Panthers (8-11-3, 5-8-3 NESCAC) 2-2 in their second game in a row this season.
Tonight's game started off no different than last night's game. Both teams have strong offensive lines so shots on net were plentiful and the two goaltenders, senior Michael Pinios for the Ephs and junior Brian Ketchabaw, were tested in their ability to successfully ward off shots. The game was played fairly evenly with 29 total shots against Pinios and 26 shots against Ketchabaw.
Both teams were able to keep the goals at bay during the first half of the first period even with multiple penalty calls between the two teams.
At 9:26 senior Roberto Cellini was sent to the box for tripping, putting Williams on the power play. Historically, the Ephs have had successes in their power play special teams, killing off 86% of their penalties this season. The Ephs one upped their record during Cellini's penalty and recorded a short handed goal.
At 10:40, junior Wyatt Glover recovered the puck at the Panther's blue line when a Middlebury player fumbled the puck and slipped. Glover was all alone in the MIddlebury zone and was able to fake Ketchabaw to bury the puck for the first Eph goal of the game.
Middlebury was able to answer the short-handed goal and, with Cellini still in the box, capitalized on the man advantage.
At 11:10 Panther senior Kamil Tkaczuk wristed a shot into the top shelf to tie the game. The period ended in a 1-1 tie.
The Ephs regained the lead well into the second period. At 13:39, senior Marcus Mollica fired a shot from the Panther blue line. The puck deflected off of the cluster of players screening Ketchabaw bu junior Max Fuld was there to jam Mollica's rebound into the net. The unconventional goal was the lone point in the second period and allowed the Ephs to enter the third period one up.
The Eph's lead was short lived when the Panthers tied the game at 12:37 into the third period. Freshman Conor Breen received a pass from sophomore Alex Heinritz deep into the Williams zone. Breen was wide open and flipped a shot above the glove of Pinios to level the game.
The two teams battled out the rest of the game and the five extra minutes but, ultimately, the game ended in a tie.
"We had several opportunities to pull away but it was a hard fought game and Middlebury played well to defend us," head coach Bill Kangas said. "When you play the same team iin a row it's hard to win two games so we really want to hone in on all aspects of our game to really prepare for our last two regular season games and the post-season in two weeks."
The Ephs will face NESCAC rival, the Amherst Mammoths, next friday at 7pm on the Mammoths' home rink.