Ephs end season with 5-1 win

Men’s ice hockey (11-8-5, 8-8-2 in the NESCAC) overpowered Hamilton 5-1 on Sunday on the men’s senior day.

Men's Hockey - Todd Brenner
Cody Skinner ’13 scored a goal in the men’s 5-1 victory Hamilton on Sunday. The game signified the last of the regular season. - Todd Brenner, executive editor

On Saturday, Williams fell to Amherst in a tough 3-1 loss.

From the drop of the puck on Sunday, Williams put pressure on Hamilton despite the Continentals’ attempts to hamper the Ephs’ effort with multiple penalties. Thanks to this interference, the men were not able to capitalize on their first two power plays. A near miss from Tucker Dayton ’14 in the slot and a close rebound by assistant captain John Wickman ’13 marked two highlights of the power-play time. With five minutes left in the period, the Ephs again earned a man advantage with a tripping penalty against the Continentals. Peter Mistretta ’15 found Mark Lyons ’13 in the slot, and Lyons tipped Mistretta’s pass to the far post past the Hamilton keeper. The power-play goal gave Williams a 1-0 lead.

The men’s defense held strong through the first, and Hamilton only broke onto the scoreboard in the second period. A Hamilton player fired in a rebound over the glove of netminder Ryan Purdy ’12. The Ephs answered with a  second power-play goal from co-captain Justin Troiani ’12, who was fed by Craig Kitto ’15 and Evan Dugdale ’13. Troiani’s goal brought the score to 2-1. Five minutes later, the Ephs padded their lead to two: Mike Brofft ’13 carried the puck into the zone and fired a shot from the point, widening the men’s advantage to 3-1. Brofft’s goal ignited a fight in front of the net that resulted in a five-minute major for the Continentals’ netminder and a pair of offsetting penalties. On their fifth power play of the contest, the Ephs capitalized once more when Cody Skinner ’13 put the puck on net off a rebound. At the end of the second period, the Ephs led 4-1.

Four minutes into the third period, the Ephs increased the difference to four as Nick Anderson ’14 put in Kitto’s rebound. The men held Hamilton off successfully on three power plays to end the game with a 5-1 victory.

“The last game at home was definitely emotional for the seniors,” co-captain Ryan Scott ’12 said. “But it was great to finish out the regular season sweep [of] Hamilton with a win.”

On Saturday, Williams fell in a tough 3-1 loss to Amherst. Both teams took a high number of penalties in the contest. Despite a strong showing from Purdy, the Ephs were unable to close the two-goal lead the Jeffs clinched early in the game.

The Jeffs came on strong from the drop of the puck. Just 30 seconds into the first period, Amherst forward Eddie Effinger made a nice pass to lineman Mike Moher. Moher then wristed the puck past Purdy to put the Jeffs in the lead 1-0. Lyons and Dugdale got a great scoring opportunity with eight minutes left in the period when Lyons slid the puck to Dugdale for a one-timer. However, Jeff goaltender Jonathon La Rose blocked Dugdale’s shot. Not satisfied with a one-goal lead, the Jeffs turned up their offense at the end of the period. At 18:34, Amherst forward Brian Safstrom took a wrist shot off a faceoff to make the score 2-0. The first period ended with undisciplined play, as Amherst and Williams each took two penalties with just a minute left in the frame.

Despite two power-play opportunities for the Ephs and one power play opportunity for the Jeffs in the second, neither team capitalized on its man advantage. The period ended with the score stuck at 2-0.

The third period started with a great opportunity for the Ephs: Seven minutes into the frame, Amherst forward Ryan Edwards got a five-minute penalty for hitting from behind. Despite the five-minute man advantage, the Ephs were unable to put the puck past La Rose. Fourteen minutes in, Amherst got a chance of its own, as forward Bryden McGhee ’14 took a 10-minute major for game misconduct. The Jeffs took advantage of the power play and turned up the offensive pressure. At 15:44 Amherst forward Mark Colp took a shot from the slot that hit the inside of the right post of the goal. Though the referees originally waved the goal off, they overturned their ruling upon further review, putting Amherst up 3-0.

Despite a three-goal deficit, the Ephs made their own comeback with just two minutes left in the game.Wickman slid the puck to Kitto who then took a wrist shot that went top shelf, making the score 3-1 at the 18:34 mark. Though the Ephs battled to close the Jeffs’ two-goal lead, the game ended with Amherst up 3-1.

Following the conclusion of their regular season, the Ephs head to the NESCAC tournament as the fifth seed. They will travel to Boston to face fourth-seeded Tufts in a quarterfinal matchup on Saturday at 4:35 p.m.

“Finishing the season with a win gives us momentum heading into playoffs, and putting up five goals on Hamilton was exactly the kind of offensive break-out game we needed to gain some confidence going into Tufts,” Scott said.