Maine Hockey Journal

Southern Maine head home winless on the weekend

The Williams College men’s hockey team’s Matt Masucci assisted on the games opening score and then notched the game winner to lead the Ephs past the University of Southern Maine 3-1 Saturday.

With the win the Ephs improve to 5-0-1 (4-0 Conference) and hold down the top spot in the NESCAC with just two games left before the holiday break . The Huskies, after storming back to earn a 4-4 tie against perennial NESCAC power Middlebury Friday night, drop to 2-6-1 and go 0-1-1 for the weekend.

The win marks the first time the Ephs have defeated USM in four years, or the first time in their collegiate careers that this years seniors have ever walked away with the victory following a game against the Huskies.

“It’s great to be where we are — at the top of the league — at this point in the year.” noted Eph head coach Bill Kangas, “A lot of guys played well and it was a good effort all around. They are a quality team, who just played Middlebury very tough, so it’s nice to beat them.”

The game was played close for the opening half of the first period, but the Ephs broke through at the 13:11 mark when Masucci fired a perfect pass that connected with Connor Olvany as he was completing a run towards the net and he promptly redirected the puck past Husky goal keeper Koray Celik (29 saves).

Masucci would push the Williams lead to two just 15 seconds into the second period, when he converted an excellent pass from Stephen Maier in what would prove to be the game winning goal.

However, USM continued to battle and nearly got on the board during a power play opportunity midway through the period. After a Husky slap-shot was blunted by Eph goalkeeper Ryan Purdy (20 saves) only to squeak through with enough behind it to threaten the net, the Ephs’ Justin Troiani was there to clear it off the line and preserve the Williams advantage.

But USM would make good before the period was through when Zach Joy broke free of the pack and beat Purdy one-on-one to net the Huskies lone goal of the game.

The Ephs would add an insurance score 4:23 into the period when Ben Contini fired a pass from behind the husky net which Alex Smigelski converted into a one-time slap-shot score, finalizing the tally at 3-1.

Williams out shot USM 32 to 21, but committed six penalties to the Huskies four in the win.

(Courtesy of Williams Information Service)

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