Oswego, NY- Nick Altmann scored the first Eph goal and the game-winning goal as the #12 Williams College Ephs (7-2-0) defeated #9 University of New England (7-3-1) by a score of 2-1 at the Pathfinder Bank Hockey Classic hosted by Oswego State. This game was the first contest for the Ephs after a 4-week hiatus for exams and the holiday break.
The first period was uneventful in terms of goals and penalties with one unsuccessful power play for the Nor'easters at 5:54. That being said, the action was in front of the crease of both the Nor'easters' goaltender, junior Ben Churchfield, and Ephs' netminder sophomore Cosimo Lazzarino. The goalless period was a testament to the two goaltenders and both teams' defensive line that successfully kept shots between the pipes at bay.
The second period was a tug of war with both teams given two power play opportunities. The Nor'easters were the first to score at 11:51 in the second period. Max Fuld's penalty at 10:50 put the Nor'easters up one player on the ice allowing the Nor'easters Tyler Seltenreich to pass the puck to teammate Jeff Eppright from the back side of the goal. Eppright then scored the goal shooting past Lazzarino's upper left side.
Following the first goal, the Nor'easters were immediately given another power play opportunity from a penalty against the Ephs for too many players on ice at 13:19. With an 88.2% penalty kill rate, the Ephs were unsurprisingly able defend the goal with one player down.
With the Nor'easters up by one, the Ephs were pushing hard to convert shots to goals. With only 1 minute and 48 seconds left in the second period Nor'easters Derek Mecrones was sent to the penalty box for holding, giving the Ephs an end of period opportunity. During this power play, sophomore forward Nick Altmann was able to capitalize off of teammate Jack McCool's deflected shot and scored past Churchfield putting tying the contest at one all
Building off his momentum from the second period, Altmann scored the game winning goal at 5:2 in the third period. Altmann picked up a loose puck and quickly skated away with it after Nor'easters' Alex Sheehy tripped backwards. Altman's solo rush resulted in a goal as he beat Churchfield to put the ephs up 2-1.
The Nor'easters had a powerplay opportunity at 7:47 when Bobby Beniers was penalized for high sticking. However, the Ephs were able to make a crucial penalty kill fending of the Nor'easters.
With 6 minutes and 35 seconds remaining in the game, the Ephs were given a power play opportunity but were forced to take a 10-minute break when the building's fire alarm forced both teams off the ice. Shortly after the break, freshman forward Mac Carso's penalty for slashing equalized the number of players on the ice for both teams and gave the Nor'easters a 30-second powerplay opportunity.
Although the Nor'easters fought hard to convert a goal in the last 3 minutes of the game, Cosimo Lazzarino was on fire making multiple nail biting saves for the Ephs tand sealing a 2-1 win.
Head coach Bill Kangas commented on today's game stating,"Cos [Cosimo Lazzarino] was very strong in goal tonight. His calming presence gave our team a lot of confidence. Two timely goals by Nick Altmann, and a full team effort in all three zones was the key to our win versus a very strong UNE team."
The Williams College Ephs will take on the winner of the matchup between Saint Mary's University and Oswego tomorrow at 4:00PM EST at the Pathfinder Bank Hockey Classic in Oswego, New York.