AMHERST, MASS. - Eph first year forward Mac Carso and classmate goaltender Evan Ruschil will not soon forget their first Williams- Amherst game, after Carso netted both goals in the first period to give Williams a 2-0 lead and Ruschil turned aside 36 Amherst shots to deliver a 3-1 road win. With the win the Ephs improve to 6-2 on the year and 5-1 in NESCAC, while Amherst fell to 2-5-1/1-4 NESCAC.
After being shutout at Hamilton the night before the Ephs wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard this afternoon. The Ephs lit the lamp at 3:18 on Mac Carso's first collegiate goal with assists going to Nick VanBelle and Daniel Woolfenden. Carso controlled the puck in front of Amherst goalie Giancarlo Ventre and he was able to put it past Ventre with a quick flip
Statistics can tell you a lot about a game, but the most important statistic in hockey is goals scored. Today the Ephs won without registering a shot on goal in the third period and they were outshot on the day 37-20. A key for the Ephs today was that they denied Amherst on all five of the Mammoths' powerplay opportunities.
Amherst had the lone power play opportunity of the first period at 7:48 when the Ephs' Michael Armstrong was sent off for tripping. Amherst had a few good shots on the power play, but the Eph defense and first year goalie Evan Ruschil stood tall and denied the Mammoths a goal, preserving the 1-0 Eph lead.
At 12:30 the Ephs' Jack Forrest tipped away a puck from an Amherst defender near the blue line and he had a two-stride lead on the Mammoth defenders. Forrest came in alone on Ventre, but Ventre denied Forrest at the right post, keeping the score at 1-0.
Carso netted his second goal of the game and his career with just 34 seconds remaining in the first period when he pounced on a deflected shot and poked it into the net. Nick VanBelle collected his second assist in the game and Daniel Woolfenden also was credited with his second assist on the afternoon on the goal. Carso's goal would prove to be the game-winner.
Evan Ruschil turned aside all six shots by the Mammoths in the opening period and Amherst's Giancarlo Ventre stopped 13 of 15 Eph shots and Williams took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
Amherst came out of the first intermission and put high pressure on the Ephs and controlled play for the first two and a half minutes before the Ephs settled in and began to mount an offensive attack.
The Ephs took a little steam out of the Amherst early aggressive pressure when Bobby Beniers fed the puck from just inside the blue line to Ventre's right and onto the stick of Nick Altmann who beat Ventre to expand the Eph lead to 3-0 just 3:29 into the period.
With 50 seconds left on the hooking penalty assessed on Ephs' Max Fuld at 6:37 Ruschil stymied Mitchell Shults in close and the Ephs killed off the Fuld penalty.
The Ephs went on their first power play of the game at 11:36 of the second period when Amherst's Greg Krisberg was called for tripping. The Ephs were unable to break down the Amherst penalty killing unit and the score remained 3-0 Ephs.
The Ephs' Myles Cunningham was sent off for interference at 13:54 and Amherst had their third power play opportunity of the game. Bobby Beniers was denied a short-handed goal by Ventre with just over 30 seconds left on the Amherst power play that would have given the Ephs a four-goal margin
At 17:52 in the second period Amherst's Joey Lupo scored unassisted to narrow the Eph lead to 3-1. At 19:07 the Ephs Niko Karamanis got in close on Ventre, but his shot was deflected by Ventre's stick up over the glass.
The Ephs again took a two-goal lead into second intermission, 3-1. Evan Ruschil through two periods had notched 19 saves, while Amherst's Giancarlo Ventre had 17 saves.
The Ephs' Will Somers was whistled for interference just 1:25 into the third period and Amherst, down two goals, was once again on the power play. Despite consistent pressure by the Mammoths the Ephs' penalty killing unit and Ruschil kept the Mammoths off the scoreboard to maintain their 3-1 lead.
Amherst was soon back on the power play when at 4:28 when the Ephs were called for too many men on the ice and Jack Forrest was sent to the penalty box to serve the penalty. Amherst, which was blanked on seven power plays last night had now gone four more power plays without scoring as Ruschil and his Eph penalty killing unit was up to the task of keeping the puck out of the net
With just over 10 minutes remaining Ruschil stopped two shots in close by the Mammoths to preserve the two-goal lead, denying both Joey Verkerske and Mitchell Shults.
Amherst outshot the Ephs in the third period 17-0, but the Mammoths were unable to solve Ruschil and the Eph defense narrow or erase the Eph two-goal margin.
After the game Eph head coach Bill Kangas said, "We play in a tough league and being shutout last night it is sometimes hard to refocus for the game the next day, but Mac Carso getting us two early goals was big. Evan Ruschil had a good another good game so it is exciting for us to know that we have two strong first year goalies going forward." Asked if in his 400+ wins if he could remember a win that his team had not registered a shot on goal in the third period, Kangas replied, "No, I think this would have to be the first time. This was a good team win."
"We're 5-1 in the league and 6-2 overall and we're pretty proud of that and now the kids are going to be very busy with exams and then we'll get back on the ice and get ready to play in January," Kangas stated.
Next up for the Ephs after exams and the holiday break will be a January 3rd contest versus the University of New England at Oswego State's Pathfinder Bank Hockey Classic.