WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — After falling to Bowdoin on Friday night, the Williams men's hockey team (9-4-2) rebounded in a big way with a resounding 9-2 victory over the Colby Mules (3-13-1) on Saturday afternoon.
Leading the offensive charge for the Ephs were forward Cody Skinner, who added two goals and an assist, defenseman David Jarrett, who tallied a goal and three assists, and Peter Mistretta, who notched two goals and an assist.
The Ephs scored two minutes into regulation and did not look back, adding four goals in the first period and five in the second period to open up a commanding 9-1 after two periods. The Mules added a second goal in the third period to bring the score to 9-2, but it was too little too late.
"I thought we came out with a lot of energy right off the bat in the first ten minutes of the game," coach Bill Kangas said. "We were on the puck, we were hard on the puck, we were hard to the net, and we had some of the best play within fifteen feet of the net that we had all year too."
Jarrett started the scoring barrage for the Ephs just two minutes after the puck dropped. With his team on the power play, Jarrett took a pass from forward Evan Dugdale near the left corner of the offensive zone and skated toward the middle of the ice, where he flipped a wrist shot over the goaltender's left shoulder to put Williams up 1-0.
Two minutes later, a Mule miscommunication in the neutral zone led to another Eph score when Zander Masucci pounced on a stray pass and moved the puck to Skinner. Skinner skated free down the left side and sniped a wrist shot into the top right corner of the net to extend the Eph lead to 2-0.
The Eph offense was far from finished, however, as they scored two more goals in a span of 30 seconds at the halfway point of the first period to double their lead. The first goal was scored on a nifty move by forward Nick Anderson. After forward Tucker Dayton found him with a pass behind the right side of the net, Anderson faked a centering pass, deked a Colby defender, and skated in front of the net where he ripped a wrist shot into the left side of the net to make it 3-0 Ephs.
Off the ensuing faceoff, the Ephs worked it into the offensive zone yet again and produced a scrum in front of the net off a shot from John Wickman. The Colby goaltender made the initial save, but forward Paul Steinig fought off several Colby defenders and poked the puck into the net to give the Ephs a comfortable 4-0 lead after just ten minutes of action.
The Williams offense remained dormant for the rest of the frame, but in the second period the Ephs picked up right where they left off. Just 25 seconds after the puck dropped to start the second, Dugdale added his first goal of the night when he tapped in a rebound attempt in front of the net after a Peter Mistretta shot attempt to put the Ephs up 5-0.
Colby showed some life early in the second as well, notching a goal of their own on a shot from forward Nick Lanza that deflected off goaltender Sean Dougherty and trickled into the net. Forward Ben Chwick and defenseman Scott Harff added assists on the play as the Mules pulled the score to 5-1.
The relentless Eph offense proved too much to handle, however, as they scored 30 seconds later to get momentum back on their side. Forward Alex DeBaere set up the score with a shot from the left side on a 2-on-1 attempt, and Skinner trailed the play to tap in the rebound for his second goal of the afternoon, giving Williams a 6-1 advantage.
Williams added two more goals before the period was over, one on a wrist shot from Mistretta on a pass from defenseman Zander Masucci, and the other on a tap-in goal from DeBaere in front of the net off a nice feed from Jarrett.
The Mules tried to make a dent in the Ephs' 9-1 advantage in the third period. With nine minutes to go, forward Ben Chwick took a pass from Lanza and skated around a Williams defender to the right side of the net, where he banked a wrist shot off the right crossbar to make the score 9-2.
That would be the last goal for the Mules, however, as Dougherty made some nice saves down the stretch to preserve the final score. Dougherty finished with 20 saves in 58:09 minutes of play, while backup goaltender Sam Kurland came in for the final 1:50 and made a pair of saves.
"Overall, it was a good effort," Kangas said. "Good response to yesterday, where we got beat by a good Bowdoin team. I didn't think we played well yesterday, but to respond the way we did today is probably the biggest thing that's a positive going into this upcoming week."
The Ephs will have another big pair of games this weekend, when they go on the road to take on Tufts (5-8-2) on Friday at 7 pm and Connecticut College (4-7-3) on Saturday at 3 p.m.