During the past two weeks, the Williams men’s Ice Hockey team has drastically improved its post-season situation by winning all four of their recent games. In a series of exciting victories over Amherst, Trinity, Southern Maine and Salem State, Williams has improved to 12-2-1 in ECAC play.
In a stunning upset, the Ephmen defeated Amherst 3-1 before a record crowd of 1,746 people. Williams jumped ahead early at 3:16 when Craig Branca ’00 scored with assists from Joe Butler ’01 and Dan Houck ’02. The Ephs continued their strong play with another goal in the first period from Alex Garceau ’02 at 15:00. Garceau faked out the goalie and wrapped the puck around from behind the net with an assist from Tim Albrecht ’01. Co-Captain Mike Johnson ’99 added an important insurance goal for Williams at 5:04 in the second period with assists from Bobby Moss ’01 and Andrew Beasley ’02. Bob Mick put Amherst on the scoreboard with a goal at 8:13 in the second after assists from Chris Orszulak and Darce Swaggert. Williams goalie David Haimson ’00 stopped 34 of 35 shots on goal, and Williams took 32 shots on Amherst goalie Chris Addesa.
The Ephs also defeated the visiting Trinity Bantams 4-3, extending their record to 14-4-2. The first goal in the game came at 5:18 in the first period after Albrecht and Branca assisted Butler. Trinity responded at 17:40 in the same period with a goal by Wayne Sellers, which was assisted by Mark Colwell. Trinity continued to pressure the Ephs, scoring first in the second period with a goal at 12:23 from Martins Lans, assisted by James Devine. Trinity defender Jeremy Brooks then scored at 13:54 in the second to put his team ahead 3-1. Williams battled back, however, scoring three times in the final period with the first goal coming at 4:12 by Branca with assists from Butler and Eric Demment ’01. Beasley kept the comeback alive with a goal at 9:34, assisted by Johnson. The Ephmen secured the victory at 10:41 on Stephen Owen’s ’01 goal that was set up by Demment.
Last Friday, the Ephs defeated Southern Maine 3-2 with Chad Ogiba’s ’00 goal in overtime. Jeff Alexander had the first goal of the evening at 17:49 for Southern Maine in the second with an assist from Jason Leveille. The score remained 1-0 until Ogiba scored at 4:27 in the third with the help of Ryan Crisp ’01 and Yvon Hopps ’02. Southern Maine answered with a goal by Jarrod Gulmond from Chip Pate and Ross Olesen. Williams then tied the game at two with David Carillo’s ’00 goal from Beasley and Jon Collins ’99. The Ephmen scored the winning goal at 2:20 in overtime by Ogiba from Houck and Collins.
The Ephs continued to roll on Saturday afternoon, edging out Salem State by the score of 2-0. Williams outshot Salem 24-17 in the first two periods, but neither team managed to score. In the third period, however, that all changed as Demment scored the first goal of the game on a power play at 1:23; he was assisted by both Ogiba and Collins. Then, with both teams at full strength, Beasley added another goal at 4:40 to extend the lead to two goals. Salem was outshot eleven to five in the final period and failed to mount a comeback. In the end, Eph goalie Haimson shutout Salem State by stopping 22 shots. The Ephs play their next game at home against Norwich on February 19 at 7 PM and will be broadcast live on Teamline. On February 20, Middlebury will visit Williams for an intriguing showdown at 7:00 p.m., aired live on WCFM.