Ephs shoot to No. 11 in Div. III

No. 11 men’s hockey (8-1-4, 6-1-1 in the NESCAC) battled to a 3-3 tie against Plattsburgh State on Saturday.

Men's hockey
Paul Steinig ’14 scored the men’s second goal in a hard-fought 3-3 tie against Plattsburgh State. Caleb Baer, photo editor

The tie was the men’s third straight overtime result after a 1-1 tie at Skidmore Thursday night and a 3-2 overtime win against Wesleyan on Jan. 7. On Jan. 6, the men scored a resounding 7-2 conference victory over Trinity. They opened play after winter break with a 2-1 win over Westfield State on Jan. 3. Before break, the men topped Hamilton 5-1 on Dec. 10 after losing to Amherst 5-4 on Dec. 9.

On Saturday, the men took on third-ranked Plattsburgh State, coming to a 3-3 tie after a scoreless overtime period. The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead late in the first period with a power-play goal at 17:45. The Ephs picked up the pace offensively in the second period, but the Cardinals slid a second goal by netminder Ryan Purdy ’12 for a 2-0 lead 13 minutes in. The score remained 2-0 heading into the third period.

The Ephs started off the third with high-intensity play. Co-captain Stephen Maier ’12 rifled a slapshot from the left post 6:47 into the third to tighten the Ephs’ deficit to 2-1. Paul Steinig ’14 got in on the action just three minutes later, wristing the puck into the net to tie the score at 2-2. Plattsburgh State promptly responded with a goal of its own 10 seconds later, making the score 3-2 with 10 minutes to play in the game. Despite the late goal, the Ephs maintained their intensity. With 35 seconds on the clock, Evan Dugdale ’13 collected the puck on a rebounded shot. He lifted the puck into the goal, knotting the game at 3-3 and sending the Ephs to a five-minute overtime period. Both teams had scoring chances in overtime but could not convert, and the game ended in a 3-3 tie.

Head Coach Bill Kangas attributed his team’s stamina to the incredible work ethic of his players. “The kids buy into working hard,” Kangas said. “The season is so long [that] you have to stay strong.”

The men faced off against Skidmore on Friday, and once again, an overtime period was not enough to resolve the tie. After a scoreless first, the Ephs got their first goal late in the second from defenseman Steinig. He netted the men’s only goal of the contest 17:26 into the second. Skidmore responded with a goal less than two minutes later to tie the score at 1-1. The Ephs’ defense allowed just five shots on goal in the first and seven shots in the second, but rookie goalie Sean Dougherty ’15 stepped up his game to deny 15 Thoroughbred shots in the third. Though the Thoroughbreds could not get the puck past Dougherty, they put pressure on the Ephs in the third period, outshooting them 15-1. With the game tied at the conclusion of regulation, the men entered overtime. In the five-minute period, the men managed three shots to Skidmore’s one, but the game remained tied 1-1 at the buzzer.

The men played a tight game at Wesleyan on Jan. 7. After 15 minutes of scoreless play, Patrick Morrissey ’12 redirected a shot from Nick Anderson ’14 into the back of the net to put the Ephs up 1-0. One minute later, Wesleyan went on a five-minute power play after a cross-checking call on Craig Kitto ’15 and netted a goal to tie the score at 1-1.

In the second, Mike Brofft ’13 ripped a shot that hit the crossbar and found the net 49 seconds into the new period on a four-on-four, giving the Ephs a 2-1 lead. Wesleyan responded six minutes into the period with another power-play goal, scoring right off the faceoff to tie the game 2-2.

Neither team scored in the third. The men had a few chances in two power plays but could not convert, instead sending the game to overtime. Halfway through the overtime period, rookie Peter Mistretta ’15 deflected a shot from Anderson into the back of the net, giving the Ephs a 3-2 victory.

On Jan. 6, the men defeated ninth-ranked Trinity in an exciting 7-3 win. The Ephs were down 3-2 at the end of the first despite goals from Anderson and Mark Lyons ’13.  However, the Ephs picked up the pace in the second when Eric Rubino ’13 controlled the puck off a slapshot from co-captain Justin Troiani ’12. Rubino found the back of the net to tie the game at 3-3. Matt Doyle ’14 scored less than a minute later to give the Ephs a 4-3 advantage and their first lead of the game.

The men carried their momentum through the third period, claiming two goals in the first five minutes courtesy of forwards Kitto and Cody Skinner ’13, giving Williams a 6-3 lead. The Ephs kept the Bantams at bay through the end of the third, killing off three penalties – two of which were 10-minute game misconduct calls. With two minutes left in the game, leading scorer Anderson netted a short-handed goal to solidify a 7-3 victory for the Ephs.

The men started 2012 with a 2-1 win over Westfield State on Jan. 3. Rubino and Maier combined to score the first goal of the game 16:39 into the first, giving the Ephs a 1-0 lead. Troiani scored the game-winner 9:24 into the second with a one-timer from the left side. Despite a goal late in the third for the Owls, the Ephs defended their lead for a 2-1 win. Purdy turned in another stellar performance in net, denying 30 shots from Westfield State, including 15 in the third period.

Before the break on Dec. 10, the men earned a NESCAC victory with a 5-1 win over Hamilton. Doyle, Rubino, Dugdale, Troiani and Skinner each had a goal in the contest, and Purdy tallied 33 saves. On Dec. 9, the men fell 5-4 to Amherst. Rubino and Morrissey each scored in the first, but goals late in the third period from Troiani and Dugdale were not enough to boost the Ephs over the Jeffs. The men lost 5-4.

Williams played Wentworth on Tuesday, but results came in too late to report. The team will travel to Bowdoin on Friday and face off at 7 p.m. The men will also travel to Colby for a 3 p.m. matchup on Saturday.