Ephs fall to Continentals, Jeffs

Men’s hockey (14-8-2, 10-7-1 in the NESCAC) came out of a pair of NESCAC match-ups with two losses this past weekend. The men took on Hamilton on Friday and Amherst  on Saturday, falling first 5-1 and than 5-3 to end their regular season.

MEn'sIceTake2On Saturday, the men travelled to Amherst, Mass. to take on the Jeffs. Williams came away from the first period with a 2-1 lead. The first goal of the period came from a power play when David Italiano ’18 scored an unassisted goal at 7:36.

After matching roughing calls were called at 17:01 in the first, Williams took a 2-0 lead with a goal courtesy of Tyler Young ’17 off a pass from George Hunkele ’17. The Jeffs took advantage of a power play, scoring their first goal, to make the game 2-1.

“I think that we had some really good offensive movement, we made some really good plays. If we could have done anything more offensively, it would have been to convert on our power plays,” Head Coach Bill Kangas said. “This was a good team, if we could have done anything better, it would have been that.”

After Amherst evened the score at 2-2 in the second period, they got off to a quick start in the third period, scoring 22 seconds into the final period in a power play to bring the game to 3-2. The Jeffs scored again at 3:40 and brought the score to 4-2.

After Amherst scored its third goal of the period, Italiano scored for the second time in the game at 19:45. Williams had an extra attacker on the play after the men pulled goalie Sean Dougherty ’15 from the net in an attempt to come back late in the game. The goal brought the game’s final score to 5-3. The Ephs outshot the Jeffs 14 to nine in the last twenty minutes and 43-29 in the game.

“Defensively, we made some positional mistakes, which resulted in the goals against tonight. Those are correctable, but it is going to take a lot of work to fix it, and headed into playoffs this coming weekend, that will be our aim this week in practice,” Kangas said.

On Friday night, the men took on Hamilton in Clinton, N.Y. Hamilton got an early lead, coming out of the first period with two unanswered goals. While only Hamilton got on the board in the first, Williams outshot its opponent 18 to nine after twenty minutes of play.

The Ephs got an opportunity early on in the second period for a power play. However, the Ephs could not take advantage of having the extra man advantage. By 9:49, Hamilton had taken a 3-0 lead over Williams. The Ephs scored their first goal of the game on the power play just minutes later when Young scored his sixth goal of the season, assisted by Greg Johnson ’16 and Frankie Mork ’17. This goal brought the score to 3-1.

Hamilton got one more shot past the men in the period, giving the team a 4-1 lead heading into the third. After two periods, the shot count remained in the Ephs’ favor 33-17, with second period totals coming to 15-8. “Offensively, I thought we were pretty strong tonight. Hamilton’s Nowacki made some good saves on us. We moved pretty well tonight, though. I liked how we moved the puck, created some solid chances. When we don’t have the puck, we need to be better on the puck,” Kangas said.

The third and final period began with fast and aggressive play. Kangas chose to pull Dougherty at 17:59 into the third period when the Ephs were trailing by three goals. However, at 18:40, the Continentals furthered their lead after shooting on the empty net.  The game concluded with the Ephs falling 5-1. 

“Overall, I think we did a lot of really good things, got a lot of shots on goal,” said Kangas. “Ultimately, we had the opportunity to score more than we did. This will only make us hungrier for our big game tomorrow and the playoffs next week.”

The Ephs will compete in the NESCAC quarterfinals at home on Saturday at 3 p.m. against Bowdoin.