BABSON PARK, Mass. — The Williams men's Hockey team (8-3-2) never trailed in the contest, but a resilient Babson squad (9-3-3) matched each of the Ephs' three scores to send the game into overtime, where neither side could notch the game-winning goal.
In the last game of a three-game series against non-conference opponents, the Ephs got off to a promising start at Babson Skating Center. Less than one minute after the opening whistle, forward Paul Steinig netted an unassisted goal to give Williams a very early 1-0 advantage.
The Ephs had a chance to extend their lead just thirty seconds later when the Beavers were whistled for a penalty, but Babson goaltender Zeke Testa denied three consecutive shots from the Eph power play unit to keep them off the board.
The Beavers got their own power play opportunity 11 minutes into the first period and made the most of it. Forty seconds into the man-advantage, forward Mike Driscoll scored the equalizer off an assist from defenseman Joe DiPietro to knot the score at 1-1.
The Williams offense wasted no time in responding. Just 35 seconds after Driscoll's goal, the Ephs regained the lead on a score from co-captain John Wickman, who tallied his fourth goal of the season off an assist from defenseman Mike Brofft to put his team on top again 2-1 heading into the first intermission.
"I thought we really played well [in the first period]," said head coach Bill Kangas after the game. "We moved the puck, had good chances... Everything we wanted to do we were able to do in the first."
On the defensive end of the ice, freshman netminder Noah Klag kept Williams in the game by making a handful of key stops in the first collegiate start of his Eph career. Klag put forth an admirable effort between the pipes, stopping 22 of 25 shots from the Beavers in 65:00 minutes of play.
"He did a good job," said head coach Bill Kangas after the game. "First game, there's some pressure, but he made some really nice saves for us in key situations."
Klag and the Eph defense kept the Beavers at bay for the first 11 minutes of the second period, but at the 11:38 mark Babson drew even once again on a goal from forward Matt Leer, who was assisted by forward Max Franklin and defenseman Shayne Anderson.
The score remained locked at 2-2 for the opening half of the third frame, although both squads had their fair share of chances. In a period that featured a total of six penalties, the Ephs had four chances to capitalize on the man-advantage, while the Beavers had two.
The Ephs were unsuccessful on their first power play attempt of the period, but with 11 minutes remaining in the contest, they finally cashed in with an extra skater. Doing the honors was Peter Mistretta, who capitalized on a Babson turnover to score his team-leading eighth goal of the season and put Williams up 3-2.
As they had all game, however, the Beavers responded quickly. Just over a minute after Mistretta's goal, Babson converted a power play opportunity of its own when Driscoll netted his second score of the night off assists from forward Nik Tasiopoulos and DiPietro to bring the score to 3-3.
Neither team could break the tie in the overtime period, as Klag stopped the lone shot he faced from the Beavers and Testa denied both Eph shots on goal.
"With two good teams going at it, you're going to get games like this," added Kangas. "You know that it's going to be a one-goal game one way or the other, but tonight it just happened to be a tie."
With their non-conference games behind them, the Ephs will return home this weekend for a pair of New England Small College Athletic Conference contests against the top-seeded Bowdoin Polar Bears (13-1-1) on Friday night and the Colby Mules (3-11-1) on Saturday afternoon.