Last Saturday, men’s ice hockey (15-6-3, 12-4-2 in the NESCAC) faced off against Hamilton, claiming a 4-3 overtime victory. Prior to this victory, Williams defeated rival Amherst 4-2 on Friday.
With six minutes left in the first period on Saturday, Hamilton put a loose rebound on a power play past netminder Sean Dougherty ’15, giving Hamilton a 1-0 lead. Less than a minute into the second period, Hamilton secured another goal to take a 2-0 lead. A Continental slapshot sailed over the left shoulder of Dougherty four minutes later, with the Continentals now commanding a 3-0 lead. Head Coach Bill Kangas called a timeout for Williams to regroup with his team down by three. For the rest of the game, the Ephs defense remained strong and gave up no more goals.
However, the men needed more than solid defense to win this game. At the end of the second period the Ephs’ offense picked it up and created some opportunities. Going into the third period with no goals, the Ephs felt the pressure as the minutes wore down. With just six minutes left in the third period, Williams finally secured its first goal of the game. On a short-handed rush, forward David Jarrett ’15 fired a shot just below the crossbar, making the score 3-1 in Hamilton’s favor. Two minutes later, defenseman Greg Johnson ’16 slipped a wrister past the Continentals’ goaltender with a great pass from assistant captain Nick Anderson ’14. Down by one goal, a Hamilton penalty gave Williams the opportunity it needed to tie the game. Paul Steinig ’14 received a pass from Jarrett at the point, beating the Hamilton netminder to tie the game 3-3 at 18:26. The Ephs doubled their shot count in the third period, which ultimately made the difference in tying the game.
The last game of regular season play for both teams ended with an exciting comeback and a sudden-death overtime goal. It seemed the game would end in a tie as a scoreless overtime neared its end, but a sequence of great plays by the Ephs in the last 30 seconds of the game was all they needed. Defenseman Brian McNamara ’15 blocked a Continental shot, ricocheting to the stick of Steinig. Steinig fed assistant captain Evan Dugdale ’13 for the breakout, who in turn slid the puck across the offensive zone to Cody Skinner ’13 for the game-winning goal. After an astounding comeback at the end of the third period, Williams won 4-3.
Last Friday, the men took on rival Amherst, winning the game 4-2. Anderson started the Ephs off with a short-handed goal at 11:09. The score remained 1-0 Williams until the second period. Skinner popped in a backhand from forward and co-captain John Wickmann ’13 at 2:12. Seconds later, the Ephs grabbed a 3-0 lead when forward Craig Kitto ’15 found Anderson at center ice, who then notched his second goal of the game. Dougherty made some key saves in the period to keep the Ephs in the lead. When an Amherst defenseman shot the puck from the point, Dougherty made the initial save, but an open Amherst forward tapped in the rebound, making the score 3-1 in Williams’ favor. A Jeff power play with two minutes left in the second period resulted in a second goal, ending the period with a score of 3-2 in favor of the Ephs.
The Ephs’ defense and Dougherty held off the Jeffs for the entire third period. Defenseman Zander Masucci ’16 put the puck past the Amherst netminder to seal the men’s victory 4-2.
“Last weekend was good preparation for the upcoming playoffs,” Kangas said. “We got a good lead against a strong team [Amherst] and were able to keep the lead throughout the game. The OT goal against Hamilton also provided a great boost to the team’s confidence.”
This Saturday, the men will play Colby in the first round of the NESCAC tournament at the Lancing Chapman rink.