Ephs falter against conference foes

Men’s hockey (10-5-5, 7-5-2 in the NESCAC) stumbled 4-1 to Wesleyan last Sunday after falling to Trinity on Saturday by a score of 3-1. The men tied Conn. College 3-3 on Jan. 28 and dropped a 3-2 game to Tufts on Jan. 27.

Co-captain Justin Troiani ’12 scored the men’s lone goal against conference rival Trinity in the team’s 3-1 loss last Saturday.
Co-captain Justin Troiani ’12 scored the men’s lone goal against conference rival Trinity in the team’s 3-1 loss last Saturday.

Williams defeated Colby on Jan. 21 in a close 5-4 victory after losing to Bowdoin 4-2 on Jan. 20. The men dominated Wentworth on Jan. 17, claiming a decisive 8-2 victory.

Wesleyan proved a formidable opponent for the men on Sunday. Williams took the lead in the first period on a power-play goal by Craig Kitto ’15 off an assist from David Jarret ’15 with five to play in the period. The men carried their 1-0 lead into the second. Despite a strong start, the Ephs soon fell behind with two goals from the Cardinals in the first five minutes of the second period to make the score 2-1. The Cardinals stretched their lead to 3-1 in the third. In a last attempt to eliminate Wesleyan’s lead, the men pulled goalie Ryan Purdy ’12 to add another player on the ice. However, the Cardinals took advantage of the open net and score their final goal of the game, claiming a 4-1 win.

The men also challenged Trinity last Saturday, eventually falling 3-1. The Bantams scored with just over two minutes remaining in the first period to notch a 1-0 lead. In the second, Trinity scored on a power play with six minutes left in the frame to go up 2-0. The Ephs countered in the third with a power-play goal from defenseman and co-captain Justin Troiani ’12, who powered a slapshot past the Bantam keeper to make the score 2-1. The men pulled rookie goalie Sean Dougherty ’15 to add a man as time waned, but Trinity slid the puck into the empty net to seal its lead and end the game with a 3-1 win.

On Jan. 28,  the men took on Conn. College in a tight match-up. The Camels took the lead with a goal five minutes into the game. Eght minutes into the first, Troiani found Evan Dugdale ’13 after a Camel turnover. Dugdale’s wrist shot into the top left corner evaded the Conn. College keeper, tying the game at 1-1. However, the Camels put in another goal with nine minutes remaining in the frame to end the first with a 2-1 lead.

The second period remained scoreless until the last five minutes when Alex DeBaere ’15 made a move around the Camel keeper and slid a goal in to tie the game at 2-2. The Camels countered with a third goal minutes later, once again ending the period in the lead.

The Ephs made use of a power play in the opening minutes of the third period to tie the game up again at 3-3. The draw lasted through the end of regulation, sending the men to a five-minute overtime period. Though the Ephs battled throughout the period, neither team scored and the game ultimately ended in a 3-3 tie.

The men have competed in eight overtime games this season, and Head Coach Bill Kangas believes that their experience in extra time will serve them well in the playoffs. “Having experience in overtime made us more resilient and will ultimately help us in the playoffs,” he said. “It builds a lot of character to play overtime; you get confident and you learn how to play.”

On Jan. 27, the team faced Tufts for the second time this season. Although the Jumbos scored the first goal within the first five minutes of the game, Kitto batted down a rebound off the Jumbo goal keeper and directed the puck into the net five minutes later to tie the score at 1-1.

Tufts started the second period strong, scoring a second goal within five minutes of the drop of the puck. With under 10 minutes to play, Nick Anderson ’14 slipped a goal into the cage to tie the game at 2-2, leading the Ephs to yet another overtime game. In the last minute of overtime play, Tufts tipped a goal past Purdy off a slapshot from the point, ending the game in a tough 3-2 loss for the men.

On Jan. 21, the men came out strong against Colby. Troiani scored the first goal of the game for the Ephs seven minutes into the first frame. The Mules responded with a goal of their own just over a minute later, bringing the score to 1-1. Going into the third period, Williams held a 4-2 advantage. However, Colby scored just over six minutes into the period to bring them within one at 4-3. The deciding goal came from Anderson with under five minutes to play, putting the Ephs up 5-3. Colby answered back 30 seconds later, making the score 5-4, but the Mules’ rebuttal was short-lived, as the men held on for a 5-4 win.

On Jan. 20, the men fell 4-2 to Bowdoin. On Jan. 17, Williams dominated Wentworth 8-2.  The win over Wentworth marked Kangas’s 300th win at Williams. “It’s fun coaching at Williams because unlike Div. I [schools], we get kids for four years and you get to see their growth as players and people,” Kangas said when asked about his career with the team. “It’s more for them than it is for me.”

The men will host Middlebury tomorrow at 7 p.m. before traveling to Vermont for a 7 p.m. faceoff with Middlebury on Saturday.