MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — A power play goal in the second period from forward Matt Doyle lifted the Williams men's hockey team (7-2-1) to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Wesleyan Cardinals (5-6-1) on Saturday afternoon.
After battling Trinity College to a 1-1 tie on Friday night, the Ephs engaged in another tough, low-scoring contest against New England Small College Athletic Conference rival Wesleyan but this time emerged victorious thanks to Doyle's power play goal just three minutes into the second period.
Leading the way offensively for Williams was defenseman Mike Brofft, who added to his strong weekend effort with a goal and assist in the contest. Brofft had his hand in all three of the Ephs' goals this weekend, tallying two goals and one assist to give him five points on the season, tops among all Williams defensemen.
Brofft put Williams on the board first with a score just four minutes into the first period. The senior defenseman was aided by a pass from forward Tucker Dayton, who controlled the puck on a breakout into the offensive zone and found Brofft in front of the net for a tap-in score.
The Ephs did not hold the lead for long, however, as Wesleyan took advantage of its second power play chance of the first period to tie the score at 1-1 with three minutes remaining in the first period. Cardinal leading scorer Nick Craven deposited the goal, his ninth of the season, off assists from forward Donald Kleckner and defenseman Micah Ehiorobo.
Determined to break the tie, the Ephs came out strong in the second period and drew a Wesleyan penalty just two and a half minutes into the action. The power play unit made the most of its opportunity, as Doyle found the net at the halfway point of the man-advantage off assists from Brofft and forward Evan Dugdale.
"It was nice that we had our power play chance in the second period and we were able to get that power play back on Doyle's goal," coach Bill Kangas. "The fact that we were able to exchange power play goals I think was a real plus for us."
Clinging to a one-goal lead in the third period, the Ephs turned to the defensive end and goaltender Sean Dougherty to keep them in the lead. The Cardinals had three power play opportunities in the final frame, but a strong penalty-kill effort and some timely saves by Dougherty kept them off the board.
Dougherty allowed just two goals on the weekend, finishing Saturday afternoon's contest with 26 saves on 27 shots in 60 minutes of play. His counterpart, Wesleyan goalie Glenn Stowell, finished the game with 21 saves on 23 shots from the Ephs in 59 minutes of play.
The victory pushes the Ephs, who have yet to lose in their last six games, to a 7-2-1 overall record and a record of 6-1-1 in the NESCAC, where they trail only Bowdoin College in the league standings. After a week off from action, the Ephs will return home next Friday night to take on the Skidmore Thoroughbreds (6-6-2) at Lansing Chapman Rink. The puck drops at 7 p.m.