Despite prolific goal scoring, men’s hockey falls to Norwich

Men’s ice hockey was defeated on Saturday by Norwich College, 8-4. The offensive production was strong, but the defense took the night off. The game was the last regular season match for the Ephs, who finished a trying season with a record of 8-14-2 (8-9-2 in the NESCAC).

Norwich landed the first goal about nine minutes into the contest when Mario Chinelli scored his first goal of the night off assists from Phil Aucoin and Paul Mattucci. The trio of Chinelli, Aucoin and Mattucci provided most of the offense for Norwich as they were involved in six of their team’s eight goals. Aucoin scored Norwich’s second goal only 19 seconds later and the Ephs took a much needed timeout.

After Chip Canner ’04 and Mattuci each spent two minutes in the box for roughing, Mattucci returned to score a goal making it a 3-0 Norwich advantage. But before the first period ended Williams itself back itself back in the game on goals from Jabe Bergeron ’04 and Steve Baldassarri ’05. Baldassarri’s goal came during a six-on-five power play opportunity.

However, Norwich wasted little time, in re-opening a multi-goal lead as Chinelli made it a 4-2 contest two and a half minutes into the second period. Norwich then extended its lead to 5-2 four minutes later on a goal from Jon Bokelman.

Bergeron scored his second goal of the night – a feat he had also accomplished the night before – and assists were attributed to Baldassarri and Wes Fox ’03. Barely a minute had passed since Bergeron’s goal before Ed Boudreau gave Norwich a 6-3 lead.

“I felt like things were going well for me,” Bergeron said of his consecutive multi-goal performances. “A lot of it is due to my linemates, Wes Fox and Devon O’Rourke [’06], who were feeding me the puck very well.”

O’Rourke found the back of the net to score the last goal of the Ephs’ regular season. The Canadian enjoyed a successful rookie campaign as he finished with 11 goals on the season.

“Devon had a great season,” Bergeron said. “I think he may be one of the best players to come out of Williams. He’s just so smart with the puck.”

The Ephs had all 16 of their third-period shots stuffed by Boudreau, who suited up for goal 10 minutes after he scored his goal in the second period. Three Ephs spent time in the penalty box for tripping, elbowing and hitting after the whistle. Norwich scored two more goals before time expired, the second of which came on an empty net.

It was a frustrating night for the Ephs’ goalie, Ben Fash ’04, as he was only able to stop 81 percent of Norwich’s shots. However, the blame cannot solely be placed on Fash as the team allowed Norwich to launch a devastating 43 shots on net. While the Ephs were clearly not helpless on offense, they could not keep pace with Norwich as they only managed 33 shots on goal.

A day before the Ephs found themselves on the winning end of a two-team scoring spree, defeating St. Michael’s by a final score of 9-6. The Ephs brought the offensive game with them when they traveled up to Winooski, Vt. As a team the Ephs bombarded St. Michael’s goalie Andy Joy with 49 shots. Williams’ offensive attack was well spread as they scored three goals in each of the three period off the sticks of Brian Teixeira ’04, Bergeron, Baldassarri, Kevin Child ’06, Justin Blanch ’04 and Jake Clapton ’05.

Teixeira led the Ephs’ prolific scoring night with two goals and two assists. Clapton and Bergeron also netted two goals each for the Ephs. O’Rourke and Matt Goethals ’04 picked up two and three assists, respectively. Although St. Michael’s was able to score six goals, keeper Mike Aroesty ’03 was able to stop 22 shots in his effort.

Next week, the Ephs will travel to Hartford, Conn. for the first round of the NESCAC tournament. The Ephs are seeded seventh and they will face a tough opponent in the number two seeded Bantams from Trinity.

“Trinity has had our number lately, but that might play to our advantage in the first period. . .they might come out overconfident and we will have to make the most of it,” Bergeron said.