Geneseo, NY- Connor Kucharski scored twice in the final 7:38 as the Williams College Ephs (5-1-0) downed #4-ranked SUNY Geneseo (7-1-1) by a score of 6-4 on the road. The Ephs bounced back from their only loss yesterday with a gritty performance this afternoon against the Ice Knights.
Eph head coach Bill Kangas commented, "The team responded very well today. Everyone played hard for each other; it was a very hard-fought team win".
Today marked the first home regular season loss by Geneseo since January 2017. Both teams played exceptional hockey, constantly responding to their opponents' goals.
However, the lead was short-lived when the Knights responded with their own goal five minutes later. Junior forward Dan Bosio redirected a deflected puck from Eph goaltender Evan Ruschil's pad to equalize the score one to one.
There was still a lot of action left in the first period. The Ephs regained their lead with a goal at 11:17 by Daniel Woolfenden who picked up his own rebound and shot the puck past Knight goalie Matt Petizian. Again, Geneseo matched the Eph tally when forward Carson Kelley scored at 13:54.
The teams went into the first intermission tied at 2. The game's first power play opportunity was given to Geneseo when Daniel Woolfenden was sent to the box for tripping at 1:05. However, the Knights were unable to convert as the Ephs successfully killed off the penalty.
At 4:23, the Ephs were given their first powerplay opportunity. Instead of the Ephs capitalizing, the Knights took the lead at 5:40 when Tyson Empey scored a short-handed goal, assisted by Levi Wunder and Tanner Salsberry, Empey came in alone on Ruschil with the puck and shot it pass Ruschil. With 30 seconds left of their first powerplay and needing a goal, the Ephs' Tyler Scott answered with a goal from the left side knotting the score at three.
Continuing off his momentum from his first goal of the game, Tyler Scott made a phenomenal goal between goalie Matt Petizian's pads at 8:37, giving the Ephs their third lead of the game.
The Knights were able to level the score at 4-4 during a powerplay opportunity when Eph forward Max Fuld was penalized for hooking at 7:28. However, the Ephs gained back their lead at 12:32 with the game-winning goal being netted by sophomore Connor Kucharski, assisted by Jack Forrest and Will Somers. This Kucharski's first goal of the season.
With only one minute and 30 seconds remaining in the game, Knights' head coach Chris Schultz pulled goaltender Matt Petizian giving the Knights one more skater. However, this proved to be insufficient and led to Kucharski's second goal of the season, which covered almost the full length of ice into an empty net. The empty netter by Kucharski earned the Ephs a 6-4 win
"Sometimes teams need to experience some adversity to find out who they are as players, and teams," added Kangas. "It was very nice to bounce back today. It is a game we can build on moving forward."
The Ephs will return to action Friday at Hamilton College this weekend at 7:00 PM in a NESCAC contest.