Williamstown, MA- Three second period goals by Nick Altmann, Max Fuld, and Niko Karamanis in a four-minute span led the Williams College Ephs (7-3-0, 5-1-0 NESCAC) to a 4-2 win over the Wesleyan Cardinals (6-3-0, 2-2-0 NESCAC) at the Ephs' Lansing Chapman Rink.
In their first NESCAC match up against Wesleyan this season, the Ephs outshot the Wesleyan Cardinals 11-4 during the goalless first period. The Cardinals came out hot from locker room and immediately put pressure on the Eph's defensive line. During the second half of the first period, however, the Ephs managed to keep the puck in their offensive zone putting pressure on Cardinal goalie Tim Sestak.
Unlike the first period, the second period had three goals and one penalty. The Ephs were first to score when junior Bobby Beniers passed the puck to the Nick Altmann who shot the puck past Sestak's right pad from the left side of the goal. This was Altman's 5th goal of the season.
Seconds later, defensemen Max Fuld, assisted by Jack Forest, scored for the Ephs putting the score 2-0. Fuld picked up a rebound from Forest's deflected slap shot and lit the lamp at 7:33.
The third and game-winning goal of the period gave the Ephs a three-goal lead over the Cardinals. At 11:14 sophomore forward Niko Karamanis, assisted by junior Nick VanBelle and Jack McCool, picked up a VanBelle's centering pass from behind the net and slipped the puck between Sestak's pads. Like Altmann, this was Karamanis's 5th goal of the season. With 32 seconds remaining in the second period, the first penalty of the night was called against Eph forward Bobby Beniers, giving the Cardinals a one-man advantage for a minute 28 second going into the third period.
Capitalizing on the power play opportunity, the Cardinals scored their first goal bringing the three-shot deficit to two. Emmet Powell took advantage of Lazzarino's backwards fall as well as the crowding of players around the goal to sneak a goal in at 1:16.
The second powerplay opportunity was again given to the cardinals when Peter Christie is sent to the penalty box for boarding. However, the Ephs were able to kill the powerplay and the Cardinals were unable to convert a goal.
At 17:28, the Cardinals decided to pull their goalie and put an extra man on the ice. This played out to be successful when Cam Peritz, assisted by Drew Pitcher and Matt Zandi scored with less than two minutes left in the game. Peritz knocked in a quick goal after Pitcher's slap shot was deflected by Lazzarino. However, the Ephs responded quickly with a goal of their own at 19:22 when Tyler Scott broke away with the puck and scored an empty netter. This sealed a 4-2 win for the Ephs over the Cardinals.
Head coach Bill Kangas commented on tonight's game stating, "It is a 60-minute game and I thought we played really well tonight. Unfortunately, they got the powerplay goal which put us on our heels a little bit. However, I liked the way we competed and found a way to win. We feel good about getting another win, but we are continuously working to get better every day and play the next full 60-minute game."
Tomorrow, the Ephmen will be put to the test against #1 Trinity. When asked about tomorrow's game Kangas responded, "We know tomorrow is going to be a real test. Trinity is a very strong team with good coaching. They are having a great season. We know it is going to be a big test, but we are excited to play against them tomorrow."
The Ephs will play again at Lansing Chapman Rink tomorrow at 3pm against Trinity.