Men’s hockey falls to Trinity following strong performances against Middlebury, Wesleyan

This isn’t how men’s hockey wanted to finish the weekend.

Following a gratifying 7-1 victory over Little Three rival Wesleyan on Friday, the Ephs were handled easily by Trinity 4-1 the next night. With the loss, men’s hockey’s record now stands at 13-7-2.

Steve Baldassarri ’05 scored the only goal for the Ephs as he tied the game at one only 25 seconds into the second period. Tri-captains Andrew Beasley ’02 and Dan Houck ’02 assisted on the play as the Ephs looked to finally be getting into the game.

But Trinity’s Joseph Ori scored twice over a five-minute span in the second and third periods to give him a hat-trick as the Bantams pulled away. Martin Lans capped the scoring in the third period for Trinity.

Dan Gyllstrom and Jeffrey Natale both had three assists for the Bantams, who defeated Williams 3-2 a year ago.

Ben Fash ’04 made 27 saves for the Ephs as he lost his second game in a row. Geoffrey Faulkner got the win in goal for the Bantams, making 26 saves as he shut out the Ephs over the final 39:35.

Jabe Bergeron ’04 made a name for himself last year on the baseball field. But if he keeps this up, the sophomore might be better known as a hockey player.

Bergeron scored twice and added two assists as Williams defeated Wesleyan 7-1 in a Little Three match-up a night earlier. Wes Fox ’03 had a goal and an assist as well as the Ephs improved their all-time record over the Cardinals to 28-2-4.

Fox and Craig Wadman ’03 set up Bergeron’s first goal as the Ephs jumped to an early lead. After Wesleyan tied the game, Wadman’s unassisted goal gave Williams an advantage it would not relinquish.

Fox made it 3-1 near the end of the first period as Bergeron and Jake Clapton ’05 set him up. That same line accounted for Williams’ next goal, as Fox and Bergeron assisted on Clapton’s goal. Bergeron scored his second of the night on a power play late in the second. Baldassarri and Alex Garceau ’02 scored third period goals for the Ephs to cap the scoring.

Mike Aroesty ’03 made 19 saves for the Ephs. Wesleyan fell to 5-13-2.

Tuesday, the Ephs gave the best team in the country, Middlebury, a run for its money, but in the end, the Panthers had too many weapons.

Kevin Cooper scored two of his three goals in the third period as Middlebury (18-1-1) reeled off four straight goals to defeat Williams 6-3.

“I thought we made some nice plays, but probably not enough of them,” said Bill Kangas, head coach. “In the third period, they stepped up, and we just couldn’t get that big play we needed.”

The Ephs were timid early on, as the Panthers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Cooper and Chisholm both scored, as Middlebury was faster and more physical than its counterpart. Middlebury goalie Christian Carlsson made several brilliant saves to keep the Ephs scoreless.

“Their goalie was really strong in the first,” said Kangas. “We had some unbelievable chances and he stoned us at point blank range. On top of that, I thought that we played more to Middlebury’s reputation than we did to our own style.”

Having calmed down, Williams finally got to Carlsson midway through the second period. With the Ephs on the power play, Wadman scooped up a loose puck in the slot and found the back of the net to put Williams on the scoreboard.

“It was a big goal, being down 2-0 early,” said Wadman, who also added an assist. “It definitely gave us some momentum.”

With the crowd in a frenzy, Beasley gave them more to cheer about in the closing seconds of the period. Down a man, tri-captain Dan Cotuno intercepted a pass and moved it ahead to Beasley, who had beaten two Panther defenders. Beasley’s shot deflected off of Carlsson’s glove, went 10 feet in the air, and trickled across the goal line just before the horn sounded.

“I probably should have deked him. but for whatever reason I made the decision to go up high,” said Beasley. “He got his glove on it but it went in right before the buzzer.”

With momentum still on their side, the Ephs took the lead early in the third. Brian Teixeira ’04 banged home a rebound just inside the left goal post with 17:14 left to put Williams up 3-2.

But Middelbury showed why they are the top-ranked team in the country soon thereafter.

Cooper scored his second goal less than two minutes later to tie the game at three. Then, with 6:39 remaining, Cooper took a pass between the circles and beat Fash through the legs with a backhand to put the Panthers back on top.

“Getting that third goal was huge for them,” said Kangas.

Only 27 seconds later, the Panthers struck again, this time on a controversial goal. Fash dove for a loose puck in front on the net, and after a wild scramble, Matt Snyder knocked it in. Beasley, thinking that the puck was thrown in the net, threw his stick and gloves and was ejected.

“I had one guy tied up and he basically threw it in the net,” said Beasley. “It may have been the wrong call, but I have to keep my composure better. He made the right call in kicking me out.”

“The official had the best angle, and he made the call,” said Kangas, who noted not having a good angle on the play.

“Even if the call was wrong, our team has to understand that it’s part of the game and we have to bounce back from adversity.”

Williams had a few more chances in the final six minutes, but Carlsson, who had entered the game allowing only 1.01 goals per game, turned away every shot in the final moments.

Chisholm scored his second goal of the game, an empty-netter, with 50 seconds left to ice it.

Carlsson stopped 18 shots for the Panthers, while Fash made 24 saves for the Ephs.

Despite the loss, with the effort, the Ephs proved that they are for real.

“I think what we take away is that we can play with anybody,” said Beasley. “It’s tough right now, but I think in the end, we can take a lot of positives from this.”

“We haven’t gotten a lot of respect from a lot of people in the league and across the country,” said Kangas, who compared his team to the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

“I think our kids have played collectively as a team and if we continue to do that, we’ll be a tough team in the playoffs. I’m proud of what they’ve accomplished, but the work’s hardly done.”