Williamstown, MA- In a game in which the Williams Ephs (8-4-0, 6-2-0 NESCAC) struggled to find offensive rhythm in the last period, the single third period goal by the Trinity Bantams (11-1-0, 6-0-0 NESCAC) made the difference in a 3-2 defeat for the Ephs.
The highly anticipated matchup between #1 ranked Trinity Bantam and #13 ranked Williams College Ephs took place at Lansing Chapman Rink. The spectators were expecting to see some good hockey tonight and the players did not disappoint.
As excepted, the start of the game was fast paced with both teams coming out hot from their wins from yesterday. Tonight's game had 17 penalties, 9 from the Ephs and 8 from the Bantams, which exemplified both team's ability to kill penalties.
Head coach Bill Kangas commented on the penalties stating, "I think we took some unnecessary and uncharacteristic penalties and emotions were a little high. They are a heck of a team and they definetly pushed us and we pushed back pretty well. "
At 13:01, the first penalty of the game gave the Bantams their first power play opportunity, when Eph sophomore defensemen Aaron Pinto was called for interference. With one man up, the Bantams were able to keep the puck in the Ephs' defensive zone. However, freshman goaltender Evan Ruschil did not miss a beat and made multiple outstanding saves leading the Ephs to a successful penalty kill.
Following the first penalty kill, the Bantams had three more power play opportunities which they were unable to capitalize on. Not long after their third power play opportunity Barclay Gammil was penalized for holding at 16:05 putting the ice 4 v 4. Then at 17:31, the Bantam forward Jack McCarthy was sent to the penalty box for cross checking. With a 2-man advantage the Ephs immediately took advantage of this opportunity and scored their first goal of the game. Nick Altmann received a pass from teammate Jack McCool and Altmann's shot was fired past the goalie's left shoulder.
At 19:31, the Bantams were back to full power. With 19.2 seconds left to go in the first period, forward Jack McCarthy skated straight out from the penalty box to the front of Ruschil, and received a pass from teammate Barclay Gammil and shot the puck into the goal. The first period ended with a tie 1-1.
Opening up the second period the Bantams tooa advantage of a Michael Armstrong penaltyfor holding. With one man down, the Ephs were unable to kill off the penalty and the Bantams scored their second goal only 38 seconds into the period. Bantams' junior forward Dylan Healey picked up teammate Barclay Gammill's deflected shot from in front of the goal then shot it right past Ruschil's right side.
The Bantams had yet another power play opportunity when Wyatt Glover was penalized for high-sticking. However, the Bantams were unable to convert shots to goals and the Ephs were back to five players on the ice. Building off the momentum from their last penalty kill, the Ephs were able to equalize the score to 2-2 six minutes into the period. Eph defensemen Miles Cunningham took a shot from the right side of the ice and teammate Will Sommers was at the front of the goal to shoot the rebound into an opening between the pipes.
With the game now at full speed, both teams had players sent to the penalty box, Ephs defensemen Miles Cunningham for game misconduct and Bantam Jack McCarthy for roughing at 12:55. This gave the Bantams a crucial three-minute powerplay opportunity advantage against the Ephs. However, the powerp lay was cut short when Bantam forward Lucas Michael was sent to the penalty box helping the Ephs successfully kill off another penalty.
At the end of the second period, Eph Max Fuld was penalized for cross checking giving the Bantams a one-man advantage for the start of the third period. However, the Ephs were able to yet again kill off another penalty keeping the game at 2-2.
The first ten minutes of the third period consisted of multiple power play opportunities and penalty kills from both teams. Although there were many missed opportunities, the Bantams made the game winning goal on even ice when defenseman Michael Grande took possession of a deflected slap shot from a teammate and lifted it past Ruschil's left shoulder.
With only 5 minutes and 49 seconds left in the game, two Bantams were sent to the penalty box giving the Ephs a crucial 5 v 3 power playand an opportunity to equalize the score. However, the Bantams were able to kill off both penalties. There were two additional penalties for both teams but were both killed off. Although the Ephs skated and fought hard in the last minutes they were unable to put another puck in the goal and the game ended 3-2 in favor of th Bantams
"It was a good game up and down the rink and we all had some good chances," said coach Kangas. "They had opportunities and we had some. I think this [loss] will make us stronger and better and we have been pushing these guys for something new. We will be ready, and our goals are long term and the best is still ahead of us and I think we know that."
The Ephs will take on the Albertus Magnus Falcons next Friday at 7:00PM EST at Lansing Chapman Rink.