Men’s hockey (11-4-1, 7-2-1 in the NESCAC) split their two games in Maine last weekend by bouncing back from a 1-0 loss against Bowdoin on Friday to capture a 3-1 win against Colby on Saturday.
In their matchup against the Mules, the Ephs scored all the goals they would need to claim their victory in the first period when they opened up a 2-0 lead. Both goals came off the stick of Dan Doherty ’18, the first scores for Doherty this season. CJ Shugart ’18 notched an assist on both of Doherty’s scores, and captain Zander Masucci ’16 earned an assist on the first goal of the game.
Doherty opened the scoring in the contest at 15:34 of the opening period when he converted off passes from Masucci and Shugart. Shugart was in the left circle and slid the puck to Doherty just outside the right post. Dohetrty one-timed the perfectly weighted pass from Shugart into the net to put the Ephs on top 1-0.
Fewer than three minutes later, Doherty doubled the Eph lead, again teaming up with Shugart. This time, Shugart’s pass, again from the left circle, blasted past goalie Emerson Verrier’s left side by Doherty. The Ephs held a 13-5 advantage in shots in the first period and took a 2-0 lead into the intermission.
At 3:09 of the second period, Colby forward Phil Kilitrinos went to the penalty box for two minutes for holding. The Ephs wasted little time capitalizing on their power play. Masucci netted a wrist shot over the glove hand of Verrier, boosting the Eph lead to 3-0. Sam Gray ’17 and David Italiano ’18 notched assists on the Masucci score.
Colby outshot the Ephs in the second period 17 to 9, but Eph goalie Noah Klag ’16 proved stellar in goal, especially in denying shots by the Mules from close in on the net during a pair of late period scrambles.
The Ephs went into the second break leading 3-0. Colby made matters interesting in the third period when the it got on the scoreboard at 13:45.Jack Burton backhanded a shot to the roof of the net from Klag’s right side. Geoff Sullivan and Kevin Doherty assisted on the Burton score.
Energized by the Burton tally, the Mules began to muster several forward surges that required Klag to maintain his composure with the high traffic in front of the net.
The Ephs’ special teams play stood out as they tallied a goal on their lone power play opportunity and killed off all three of their penalties.
Klag turned aside 32 of 33 shots in the win while Verrier made 27 saves and allowed three goals.
“The Maine weekend is always tough, and you have to give Bowdoin credit as they came out strong to start the game and prevented a comeback despite several scoring chances. Colby always plays a full game and after we went up 3-0 it took a great effort in the third period to finish the game,” captain Zander Masucci said.
Before the loss to Bowdoin, Williams had won five straight games, rocketing up in national rankings to eighth in the D3Hockey.com poll and ninth in the US College Hockey National Poll. The men triumphed in a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory against Plattsburgh on Jan. 16, with Italiano scoring the winning goal on assists from Masucci and Shugart 50 seconds into the sudden death period.
The Ephs scored a solid non-conference road win against Manhattanville, 3-2, on Jan. 15. They also notched two crucial NESCAC victories against Wesleyan, 3-1, on Jan. 10 and Trinity, 3-2, on Jan. 9, with Alex Hagerty ’17, Greg Zaffino ’17, Colby Cretella ’18, Shugart and Massuci scoring goals.
On Jan. 3, Williams trounced Castleton 7-1, a strong bounce back from consecutive losses to Adrian, 4-1, and Hamilton, 1-0, to round out their January schedule.
The men will next play on Friday at home when they host Tufts at 7 p.m. and then host Conn. College at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Lansing Chapman Rink.