Men’s hockey holds up against NESCAC rivals

Despite three hard-fought periods and an exceedingly intense game, men’s hockey (13-5-2, 6-2-1 in the NESCAC) fell to Trinity, the top-ranked team in the NESCAC, last weekend. The men did beat Wesleyan 2-1 on Friday, following up a 3-1 streak that included wins against Tufts, Bowdoin and Colby and a loss at Conn. College. On Saturday, all eyes were on the Ephs as they skated out onto the ice to begin the first period. The Ephs and the Bantams were on even footing for five scoreless minutes in the first period. However, Trinity’s Ryan Cole managed to slam the puck past Williams’ goalie Sean Dougherty ’15, resulting in the first Trinity goal of the game. The rest of the first period remained scoreless with fast-paced and hard-fought skating from both teams. Both Williams and Trinity players spent time in the penalty box, a testament to the intensity of the game. The second period began on a much better note for the Ephs. Even despite a Trinity power play, Williams turned the puck around to attack the Trinity goal. Alex DeBaere ’15 took an impressive short-sided shot that was skillfully blocked by the Trinity goalie before Trinity’s fifth man was allowed back on the ice. Both teams skated hard and fast, yet no goals were scored by either team. The third period hosted the most aggressive play of the evening. Williams and Trinity alternated fouls, resulting in several power plays that neither team capitalized on. Unfortunately, Trinity finally broke through the Eph’s defense at 17:44 to score another goal, pushing the tally to 2-0, Trinity. Luckily, Williams retaliated; after pulling Dougherty in order to utilize another attacker on the ice, Tyler Young ’17 ripped a shot past the Trinity goalie to make the score 2-1 with just over a minute remaining in the period. However, the Bantams pushed back against the Ephs. With just over half a minute left in the game, Trinity scored on an open net to make the final score 3-1. Williams dominated the game in shots, taking 39 to Trinity’s 32 and even shot them 19 to nine in the third period. “On Saturday, we played a very good Trinity team,” said Head Coach Bill Kangas. “Even though we were down by a goal for most of the game, we played our best hockey during the final 10 minutes of play. We have a great group of motivated and team-first players. They believe in each other and understand if we keep things simple, work together and stay positive, we have the ability to compete and win every game we play.” Last Friday, the Ephs had marginally more success on the ice. Taking on the Cardinals at Lansing Chapman Rink, the Ephs were lead by DeBeare, who scored two goals to win the game 2-1. The first period allotted both teams to sink into the flow of the game; although change of possession was constant, neither team capitalized and scored. The men came out of the first period with 15 shots on net in comparison to Wesleyan’s four. The second period proved to be much more fruitful. DeBaere took control of the puck just a minute into the period, scoring a goal off passes from Craig Kitto ’15 and Greg Zaffino ’17. A similar pattern was repeated again at 15:30 into the second period, when DeBaere again scored off passes from Kitto and Colby Cretella ’18. The Ephs left the second period ahead 2-0. Although Wesleyan retaliated late into the third period, the Ephs kept the lead. Pulling their goalie to gain another attacker, the Cardinals scored on Dougherty with a minute and a half left in the period. However, the Ephs ultimately kept the Cardinals at bay, emerging victorious with a 2-1 final score. “We take things day-by-day and it is our goal to get better every day” said tri-captain Zander Masucci ’16. The Ephs play a double-header this upcoming weekend against Middlebury. The first game is away on Friday at 7 p.m. The second game is on home ice on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Lansing Chapman Rink