Despite a bevy of shots on goal, men’s hockey falls to Tufts and ties Connecticut College

The brakes were hit on men’s ice hockey’s (4-5-1; 4-1-1 in the NESCAC) fast start in NESCAC play this past week. In the team’s games against Tufts and Conn. College, Williams outshot their opponents by a composite total of 95-38 but frustratingly only sent six goals back home.

The Ephs lost a Saturday afternoon scoring fest to Tufts (2-3-2; 2-3-1) by a final score of 7-4, a count which was particularly disappointing given the 49 shots that Williams rung off in the contest. By comparison, Tufts only managed 24 shots in the game.

“It was a pretty disappointing weekend on the whole,” Jabe Bergeron ’04 said. “I think it was a weekend where we expected or hoped at least to come away with a couple victories. Before the weekend we were on top of the NESCAC so it’s definitely a disappointing little setback.”

“Everyone on the team knows that we have to be ready to play every day,” Brian Teixeira ’04 said. “Each team in the league can beat any other team; we outshot them but we didn’t play the way we are capable of playing.

“Their goaltender [Ben Crasper] played well but we didn’t do an especially great job of doing the little things around the net that allow you to put the puck in the net. It was a disappointing game,” Teixeira said.

The Jumbos came charging out of the gate, with John Hurd netting goals for Tufts in the third and 12th minutes. Bergeron got the Ephmen back on the board not long thereafter, however, and by the close of the first period the score stood at 2-1.

The two opponents raised the stakes in the second period, during which five goals were added to the board. After an early goal from Shawn Sullivan made it a 3-1 Tufts advantage, Williams evened the score after Matt Goethals ’04 and Kevin Child ’06 found the back of the net.

With the momentum seemingly in their favor, the Ephs hit a snag. Pat Burn scored first, putting the Jumbos back on top at 4-3; then, with the Ephs reeling somewhat from the swift momentum shift, Matt McCarthy sent home what proved to be the game-winner, which at the time made it a 5-3 Jumbo lead.

The Jumbos continued to pour it on as the second period gave way to the third and the Jumbos again and again found ways to march through a newly porous Eph defensive unit. Hurd scored his second goal of the game 10 seconds into the period before Remy Bickoff scored Tufts’ third power play goal of the game in the third minute of the period.

Tri-captain Wes Fox ’03 netted the final goal of the game in the 14th minute of the third period but by that point it was simply a matter of too little too late as the Ephs went on to lose by a final count of 7-4.

The loss to Tufts came on the heels of a 2-2 tie against Conn. College (4-5-1; 2-3-1) the night before.

The Ephs outshot the Camels 46-14 but had difficulty finding the back of the net. Partially responsible for the anemic scoring day was the strong play of Camel goaltender Steve Oven who tallied 44 saves in the game.

Devon O’Rourke ’06 got the Ephs on the board in the fourth minute of the second period after scoring off an assist from Craig Wadman ’03. The Camels responded four minutes later, however, when Tim Finkle scored his second goal of the season.

Teixeira scored a power-play goal at the 4:11 mark in the third period to put the Ephs ahead with some 15 minutes left to play. The Ephs could not make the lead hold up however, as Jesse LaRusso sent a shot past Williams goaltender Ben Fash ’04 with seven and a half to play.

Neither team was able to make anything happen in the five minute overtime period and consequently the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

The going won’t get any easier for Williams this week as the Ephs prepare to take on strong squads from SUNY Plattsburg, Bowdoin and Colby. The latter two contests especially are important for the Ephmen, who will be looking to get back on track in conference play against the top two teams in the NESCAC.

“Bowdoin and Colby have both got strong teams,” Bergeron said. “This is a good chance for us to make a statement in the conference. Things are starting to take shape in terms of where teams are going to wind up in the conference, so hopefully we’ll make a move here.”