Men’s ice hockey tops Vikings

After a rough start to their season, men’s ice hockey (2-3-1, 1-2-1 in the NESCAC) had two strong games against Southern Maine and Salem State last weekend. Williams came from behind to top Salem 4-2 on Saturday after tying Southern Maine 4-4 the previous night.

Williams started slowly on Saturday. Salem State committed two penalties early in the first period, but Williams could not capitalize. Instead, the Vikings scored the first goal of the game when Chris MacInnis put the puck past Eph goalie Marc Pulde ’10. Despite outshooting Salem State 13-8, Williams could not convert any opportunities into goals.

The second period seemed to be plagued by penalties. Williams committed three penalties to Salem State’s four throughout the period, giving both teams numerous powerplay opportunities to score. About 15 minutes into the period the Vikings’ penalties opened up a three on five powerplay for the Ephs and they finally scored. Off an assist from Alex Smigelski ’10, co-captain Brandon Jackmuff ’08 scored to tie the game at one goal apiece. Though they were shorthanded for much of the second period, the Viking offense still fired an impressive 15 shots, but Pulde was able to stop all 15 to leave the second period tied.

Both teams returned to the ice for the final period with drive. Brett Haraguchi ’09 scored just over six minutes into the period, putting Williams in the lead for the first time all game. Salem State immediately responded with a goal of its own, firing just over a minute later to again knot the contest. With only two minutes left in the game, another tie seemed almost inevitable for the tired Williams team, but Greg Schultz ’08 took a shot from a Jackmuff pass. Schultz’s shot scored, giving the Ephs a late come-from-behind lead. In all attempts to score, Salem State pulled their goalie in the remaining minutes of the game allowing Smigelski to easily add another point to the Ephs score. Williams finally won the game 4-2.

Outshooting Williams 37-31, Salem State’s penalties seemed to be their downfall on Saturday. The Vikings committed 10 penalties to Williams five, allowing the Ephs numerous powerplay opportunities.

“[The Salem State win was] just a good team effort,” Schultz said. “[We scored] three goals all by different guys. No one threw the towel in [and] a lot of guys contributed.”

Williams failed to capitalize on powerplays the previous day, as they tied Southern Maine 4-4. Unlike their win on Saturday, the Ephs started the game quickly on Friday, scoring within the first three minutes. Rookie Brian Malchoff ’11scored the first goal of the game off assists from Smigelski and Jackmuff. Smigelski then had a goal of his own later in the period to give the Ephs an early 2-0 lead. Southern Maine brought the contest to within one, scoring with two minutes left in the first period.

Williams started strong again in the second period, as Owen Holm ’10 pushed the Ephs lead back to two goals off an assist from Andrew Lepore ’10. Southern Maine responded again later in the period on a powerplay goal. The Ephs gave up another powerplay goal in the third period, allowing Southern Maine to tie the score 3-3.

With less than three minutes left in the game and the score tied, Lepore took a Jackmuff pass and shot it into the back of the Southern Maine goal, giving the Ephs the 4-3 lead. Unbelievably, Southern Maine responded quickly under a minute later to tie the game yet again. The period expired and after a five-minute overtime, the game ended tied at 4-4.

Williams committed eight penalties to Southern Maine’s four. Due to their number of penalties, the Ephs had 34 shots compared to the Huskies 50 shots on goal. Pulde ended the game with 46 saves.

Before the Southern Maine contest, Williams had accumulated three losses to Manhattanville, Tufts and Conn. College. The team also had one win against Utica.

Concluding the weekend with a frustrating tie and a come-from-behind victory, Williams is eager to face SUNY Plattsburgh on Saturday. “Plattsburg is tough because they are a really good team and guys are all feeling the stress of exams,” Schultz said. “Typically, [that] makes the game really hard for guys mentally.”

The game starts at 7 p.m. in Chapman Rink.