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Strong Second Period Leads Williams Past Men’s Ice Hockey in NESCAC Quarterfinals

Ryan Petti

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Williams scored three unanswered goals in the second period and held off a late surge defensively to earn a 4-2 victory over the Connecticut College men's ice hockey team in a NESCAC quarterfinal matchup on Saturday afternoon at Dayton Arena.

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes which saw the Camels hold a 14-9 advantage in shot attempts, the Ephs owned the second frame. C.J. Shugart and Joe Welch scored back-to-back goals exactly a minute apart at 5:42 and 6:42 to put the visitors in control. Max Fuld then finished passes from Tyler Scott and Marcus Mollica at the 11:06 mark to make it 3-0 by the second intermission.

The Camels, however, made it a game again with their backs against the wall in the third period. Jacob Moreau (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec) put the hosts on the board when he took a faceoff won by classmate Ryan Petti (Tewksbury, Mass.) and fired a cannon past goalie Michael Pinios at 12:53. Petti then added a goal of his own at 15:31 when he took a long pass down the ice from freshman Brett Stirling (Aurora, Ontario) and slipped the puck past the Eph netminder.

Connecticut College (10-11-4) threatened to net the equalizer into the final minutes of the contest, as the team went on a power play just over a minute after Petti's marker and also pulled sophomore goalie Connor Rodericks (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) to gain another skater. The Camels sent in six shots at the goal, but three were blocked, two went wide and one was stopped by Pinios. The visitors then got an empty netter from Shugart with 31 seconds left to put the game away.

Pinios made 26 saves for Williams (14-10-1), which advanced to face top-seeded Trinity in the semifinal round next weekend. Rodericks made 32 saves in the setback for the Camels.

Connecticut College experienced a breakthrough season in which it won nine NESCAC games and earned the second seed in the conference tournament, which was the highest in program history. The team graduates five seniors and is slated to return more than 20 letterwinners next season, including its starting goalie and top three scorers.