Men’s hockey (9-3-2, 5-2-1 in the NESCAC) knocked off Plattsburgh State 6-3 last Saturday after tying Manhattanville 1-1 on Friday. Since their 3-3 tie against Bowdoin on Nov. 16, the men have won eight of their last 12 games.
Saturday proved to be a more fruitful day for the Ephs. Playing away at Plattsburgh State, the men took down the third-ranked team in the country 6-3. The Ephs’ success came largely at the hands of Craig Kitto ’15, who scored three goals for the Ephs over the course of the contest.
The Ephs began to gain momentum as soon as the opening whistle was blown. Just 1:17 into the game, Kitto put the Ephs up over the Cardinals 1-0. Eight minutes later, Dan Doherty ’18 tallied another goal for the Ephs, with an assist from Tyler Young ’17. Before the first period had finished, Kitto had once again scored for the Ephs, putting the score at 3-0. The Ephs’ defense continued to do an impressive job keeping the Cardinals out of their defensive zone.
Not even a break between periods could stop Kitto’s momentum. Shortly into the second period, he broke through the Plattsburgh State defense to score his third and final goal of the game. At a 4-0 deficit, Plattsburgh switched out goalies, replacing Spencer Finney with Ryan Hubbard. Williams still could not be stopped. Williams’ David Italiano ’18 slipped yet another puck into the Plattsburgh State goal, putting Williams at a 5-0 advantage early into the second period. Although the Cardinals continued to fight back, netting a goal off an Eph penalty, they failed to break into the Ephs’ lead substantially. Plattsburgh State controlled the puck for much of the third period, putting two more points on the board, yet the game ended with Williams ahead 6-3. The shooting tally shows Williams’ dominance on the ice, with 58 shots on goal in comparison to Plattsburgh State’s 18.
Friday night’s game against Manhattanville proved to be both exciting and tense. The Ephs and the Valiants battled back and forth into overtime before finishing the game tied 1-1. The first period contained more penalties than goals, as the period ended at 0-0, but Manhattanville notched three penalties to Williams’ one. Both teams continuously made strong efforts to put the puck in the back of the net, however, with Williams tallying 12 shots and Manhattanville tallying seven in the first. Success for Williams finally came in the first two minutes of the second period. After a period of sustained pressure with shots by Frankie Mork ’17, George Hunkele ’17, and Alex Gonye ’17, a nicely placed pass from Matt Werner ’16 allowed Luke Stickel ’17 to slide the puck past the Manhattanville goalie to give Williams a 1-0 lead.
The third period, however, did not go quite as planned. Despite dominating the game in shots on net, leading Manhattanville 23 to 14, the men failed to keep the Valiants from putting the puck past goalie Noah Klag ’16. With the score evened up at 1-1 at 11:38 in the third period, the Ephs began the fight for another goal to win the game. The rest of the third period remained scoreless, causing the game to go into overtime. However, neither team scored and the game ended with a 1-1 tie. Overall, the Ephs were more tenacious in getting to the goal, outshooting the Valiants 38-27.
On Jan. 10, the men battled NESCAC foe Trinity. Although Williams led 2-1 at the beginning of the third period, Trinity’s powerful attack put two goals into the Williams net before the final buzzer, one at 12:50 and another one at 19:39, to take the 3-2 win against Williams.
Subsequently, Williams put forth a strong team effort against Wesleyan in their first NESCAC game since November. Members of the squad from all grades contributed to the 3-1 win, including 25 saves from goaltender Sean Dougherty ’14 and a goal by Italiano.
The men claimed wins over St. Olaf on Jan. 3 and Gustavus Adolphus on Jan. 2 on a trip to Minnesota, winning 3-1 and 3-2, respectively.
Before winter break, the men beat rival Amherst in a thriller on Dec. 6. After alternating goals for the better part of two and a half periods, Greg Johnson ’16 sunk a goal during an Eph power play to put the men up 4-3. With six and a half minutes left in the third period, the Jeffs failed to retaliate, and the Ephs went on to win 4-3.
On Dec. 5, the first game of December saw only two goals finding the back of the net while Hamilton tallied five, giving the men their first NESCAC loss. At the Skidmore Tournament, Williams lost to Morrisville State 3-2 in overtime in the championship game after defeating Johnson and Wales 4-3.
Williams knocked off their first two NESCAC foes of the season on Nov. 22 and Nov 21, defeating Tufts 9-0 and Conn. College 2-1, respectively.
“We are definitely happy with the way our team has played, a lot of guys have stepped up and improved from last year which is great to see” said tri-captain Alexander Masucci ’16. “The senior class has been unbelievable and is really leading the way for our young team. Going forward we still know we have things to work on so it’s just about getting better every day.”
The men take on Colby on Friday at 7 p.m. and then Bowdoin on Saturday at 3 p.m. Both games will be played at Lansing Chapman Rink.