Williamstown, Mass. – It was a back-and-forth game that was ultimately decided in overtime on the back of a stellar goal scored by first-year Mac Carso, leading the Williams College Ephs (14-6-1, 11-4 NESCAC) over the Middlebury Panthers (8-10-3, 6-6-3 NESCAC), 3-2 (OT).
The Panthers opened up this game with authority as first-year Paddy Bogart found the back of the net just 1:08 in, capitalizing on a scrum in the middle of the ice. It was assisted by sophomore Conor Breen and senior captain Owen Powers.
For much of the first period, Middlebury did an amazing job keeping the puck out of the sticks of the Ephs, dominating possession time. After Williams started to gain some momentum and Middlebury was booked for a penalty, junior Tyler Scott scored the equalizer. Off a beautiful lead pass by senior Peter Christie, Scott pulled the puck across his body and backhanded it into the top right corner. Myles Cunningham '21 was also credited with an assist.
Williams Coach Bill Kangas was quick to praise the Panthers, saying that "they came out strong in that first period and defended their lead well. We kept saying that all we had to do was get shots on net, and our boys were resilient and did just that."
The second period was a dynamic one despite the scoreline remaining even. Both goalies came up big for their respective teams in this battle of the first years, stuffing a number of golden opportunities for their opponents. In net for Middlebury, Jake Horoho '23 made a number of jaw-dropping saves in this period, the most impressive of which came at the 8:50 mark in which he dove across the crease into a split to kick aside Williams sophomore Niko Karamanis's opportunity.
First-year Evan Ruschil wasn't to be ignored as well, commanding the Ephs defense and making a few athletic saves. 11:57 in, he dove across the net onto a strong shot by Middlebury sophomore Cole Joslin. He ended the day with 24 saves, with Horoho stopping 38 shots.
Just 34 seconds into the third period, senior Wyatt Glover scored the go-ahead goal off an assist by fellow senior Will Somers. The Ephs held this lead until the waning seconds when Danny Tighe '20 scored the equalizer with 17 seconds left off an assist by Brendan Dawson '20.
Just 2:22 into the overtime period, Carso scored the game-winner after sophomore Niko Karamanis sent the puck across the crease. Coach Kangas admired both teams' resiliency tonight, saying that "you have to give credit to Middlebury with how they kept fighting late, but credit to our boys for doing the same thing. We did a great job getting back to our game in the overtime period and it was shown through that goal."
The two teams will face off again Saturday, February 15th in a 7:00 matchup at Middlebury.