Friday, November 24, 2017

NESCAC Thanksgiving Weekend Preview: A Time for Gratitude and Sacrifice

Hamilton Continentals taking in a team meal on Thanksgiving
(courtesy Rob Haberbusch)
Turkey, yams, pumpkin pie, parades, and...power plays?

For many of us, Thanksgiving is a time for family, food and a respite from the vicissitudes of work . For those players and coaches in the NESCAC, however, it is also a time for preparation, practice and out-of-conference games. Some players get to go home for the day, others have to practice before passing the stuffing, but with nine out of ten teams in action this weekend, almost no no one gets a full break from the grind.

The only team that has off is Conn College (1-1-0), who doesn't play again until next weekend in league action against.  Assistant coach and recent Conn College grad Joe Giordano told us that guys went home or to friends' houses this weekend.

On Friday, winless Tufts (0-2-1) begins the turkey stuffed weekend in Rutland, VT in the Rutland Herald Invitational, a tournament which the Jumbos frequent, in a matchup against SUNY Brockport (4-2-1) in the opening round. They await either Kings or host Castleton in the finals/consolation depending on how Friday shakes out.

The other Friday action sees Primelink host Middlebury (0-2-0) take on the western invites Lawrence Vikings of Wisconsin. The Panthers have not had any luck in recent years in the tournament, which features Norwich, Plattsburgh, Middlebury and a fourth invite team. The Panthers will take on the winner/loser of the other opening round game between the defending national champion and currently nationally ranked Cadets of Norwich vs the Cardinals.

Amherst (1-0-1) opens up the inaugural Binghamton Devils tournament on Saturday afternoon against the CCCs Nichols Bison (4-2-2) hosted by the eponymous AHL team. Fans get admission to the Rochester Americans vs Binghamton Devils game with their ticket admission after the second opening round game between Farmingham State vs Cortland. Mammoths assistant coach Edward Effinger told us that coach Jack Arena gave the boys off on Wednesday and Thursday to go home for the holiday, though he said that some players aren't able to get home and have meals at local restaurants.

Bowdoin (1-2-0) and Colby (1-1-0) remain in state for the Bowdoin-Colby faceoff classic. On Saturday in Waterville, the host Mules take on nationally ranked UMass-Boston (7-1-0) while the Polar Bears take on DII Saint Anselm (4-2-0). The next day in Brunswick the teams are switched with Colby taking on the Hawks and Bowdoin facing off against the Beacons.

Wesleyan (0-1-1) and Trinity (3-0-0) will swap opponents as well, though they will each remain at home for both weekend games. The Bantams will host the MASCAC's Plymouth State (5-1-0) while the Cardinals will take on DII Franklin Pierece (2-5-0) on Saturday. The teams swap the next day with the Panthers heading to Middletown and the Ravens headed to Hartford. Coach Matt Greason told us that the boys have off on Thanksgiving with practice sandwiched in between on Wednesday and Friday. Coach Greason traveled down to his in-laws on Thursday while members of the team that could not make it home went to local restaurants or had their own feast on the Connecticut campus.

Hamilton (1-0-1) heads east for the Skidmore Invitational on Saturday and Sunday.  On turkey day, they had a light practice and ate as a team at a local restaurant (pictured above). The Continentals take on the DIII Independent Roos of Canton (2-3-0), a frequent whipping boy of the Conts in recent years. Should Hamilton likely win, they will face the winner of host Skidmore vs Fredonia in the championship. The Continentals last went to this tournament back in 2011 when the defeated the host Thuroughbreds for the title.

Williams (2-0-0) will play one game at home on Saturday  against frequent 'CAC foe Babson (5-2-1) of the NEHC. The Beavers defeated Tufts 3-1 in Medford earlier this week.

Current NESCAC players are not the only ones that will be action this weekend. On Black Friday, recent Colby alum Jack Burton's Indy Fuel of the ECHL (double AA affiliate of Chicago Blackhaws) will face off against the Fort Wayne Komets. Burton has one assist (0-1-1) in seven games so far this season. Down in A, Middlebury alum Evan Neugold and the Knoxville Ice Bears will also in be in action. Neugold is second on the team with eight points (2-6-8) on the season.

Whether they play in tournament games, regular non league games or professional games this weekend, NESCAC players (and coaches) certainly had to sacrifice more than the average college student this week. From extensive travel schedules in youth hockey to extra years of prep school/juniors, hockey players have to go the extra mile to make it to NCAA competition, especially as compared to other D-III sports. For this dedication, we are thankful.

Hopefully the players took some time to pause and be grateful as well. From families that paid for and made those extensive travel schedules possible, to a world class liberal arts education, and the chance to play some of the most competitive collegiate hockey available, NESCAC players are truly blessed.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Quick Hits: Opening Weekend Wrap

In Amherst on Friday, the Mammoths kissed their prehistoric mammal sister and drew Hamilton to a 2-2 tie (Box, Recap). Jack Arena's squad  characteristically held the Continentals to just 22 shots in a penalty laden affair with the Mammoths scoring both goals on two of their eight power play opportunities and  Rob Haberbusch's crew carrying their power play troubles over from last year for an 0ffer on seven man-up chances. Nick Bondra for Amherst and Cam Radziwon (a D1 transfer from Colgate) for Hamilton each had their first collegiate goals. Reigning DIII player of the year Evan Buitenhuis made 26 saves while Amherst's Connor Girard stopped 20 shots.

Amherst is off until a non-conference affair with St. Michael's on Tuesday while Hamilton opened at home against Stevenson from the newly formed UCHC (the old ECAC-West, mostly). The Continentals handed the  second year NCAA club their first loss of the season 6-0 (Box , Recap) thanks to Holy Cross transfer Anthony Tiribassi's 29 saves in his Hamilton debut and Nick Ursitti's three point night (2-1-3). Junior Johnny Stimola also potted his first collegiate goal on the afternoon.

In the Nutmeg state, Trinity took care of bidness, easily downing Tufts 5-1 (Box, Recap) on Friday  thanks to 38 overall shots and goals from five different Bantams, including rookies Eric Benshadle and Dylan Healey. Nik Nugnes stopped 32 of 36 shots in defeat and rookie Drew Hotte stopped one of two shots in a brief relief appearance in the second period.

The Bantams then peppered Conn College goalie Avery Gobbo with 47 shots on Saturday but only came away with a 2-1 victory (Box, Recap) thanks to Gobbo's stellar 45 save appearance in defeat.  Alex Morin made 36 saves on the weekend total with 13 saves against the Camels and 23 saves against the Jumbos on Friday. Charlie Zuccarini and Liam Feeney had the third period tallies for the Bants to overcome a 1-0 deficit after two and keep the Bantams record sheet perfect for opening weekend.

The Camels didn't leave the weekend empty handed as they  upset host Wesleyan 5-3 (Box, Recap) on Friday night.  Jacob Moreau and Ryan Petti scored two apiece (including an empty netter for Petti) and Greg Pezza notched his first collegiate tally for Jim Ward's team and followed it up with his second goal in the Trinity game. Petti's first goal with 4:10 left in third broke a 3-3 tie. Connor Roddericks stopped 38 of the 41 Cardinal shots he saw while George Blinick gave up four goals on thirty shots in defeat. Senior Dylan Holze had two goals in a losing effort.

Both the Cardinals and Jumbos looked for their first win of the season on Saturday, but neither left the rink either vanquished or the vanquishing party as they skated to a 3-3 tie (Box, Recap). Hobart transfer Tim Sestak got his first start as a Cardinal and made 28 saves, while Tufts rookie Hotte made 32 saves in his first collegiate start. The Jumbos took a 3-1 lead into the third period thanks to two tallies on only three power play opportunities. Senior Jordan Jancze scored twice for his first multi-goal college game, including the game equalizer 10:31 into the third. The Cardinals scored just once on nine extra man opportunities on the afternoon. Craig Uyeno had his first collegiate goal for the Jumbos in the second period.

Williams got off on the right foot to start the brief Mike Monti era (Bill Kangas is on sabatical) with two one-goal victories on Saturday and Sunday. In the season opener, the Ephs rode three second period goals to hold on for a 4-3 victory over Bowdoin (Box, Recap). Senior netminder Stephen Morrisey got the start in the opener over starter Mike Pinios likely because it was senior night in Williams (they do it in the opener rather than the regular season finale) and he made 17 saves to Peter Cronin's 19 saves for the Polar Bears. Defenseman Keanu Hillaire had his first collegiate tally (and assisted on another) and was joined in scoring a first collegiate tally with Ephs frosh forward Nick Van Belle. Bowdoin had a first time scorer as well in two way Phillips Exeter product Bradley Ingersoll.

The Ephs eeked out a 3-2 victory over Colby  in Williamstown on Sunday (Box, Recap) thanks to a third period CJ Shugart deflection of the aptly named Colby Cretellla shot on the power play, the only special teams goal on the afternoon. Pinios had to face only 19 shots for the victory while the Mules Sean Lawrence saw 37 pucks. The Mules had quite a few more shots the night before in Vermont, routing the once proud Panthers of Middlebury 9-1 in their season opener (Box, Recap).  Senior Mario Benicky and sophomore JP Schuhlen each had hat tricks and frosh Joe Schuler and Sean Holly notched their first college goals in the route. Sophomore Brendan Dawson had the lone goal for the Panthers while all three goalies that dressed (Stephen Klein, Brian Ketchabaw and Henry Cutting) gave up at least one goal with Klein getting the start and taking the loss.

Klein was better on Sunday vs Bowdoin but his 27 saves were not enough as the Polar Bears downed the Panthers 2-0 (Box, Recap). Bowdoin frosh Alex Zafonte made 39 saves in his first collegiate start and win. Pat Geary and Thomas Dunleavy had the goals for the victorious Polar Bears.

Friday, November 17, 2017

It me, NESCAC MIH Opening Day!

After 218 days off from Trinity's loss to Norwich in the NCAA title game, hockey is back in the 'CAC with an opening night slate of three contests, including a big early season tilt between Amherst and Hamilton. 

Hamilton at Amherst
7 PM   Live Stats Video  Amherst Season Preview Hamilton Season Preview

There is currently no link for a video cast of this game on the Amherst website, but NSN Sports does list it as an upcoming event so hopefully we won't be denied the dulcet tones of longtime Amherst announcer Hugh Campbell.  The newly minted Mammoths are the only team in the NESCAC the regular season champion Hamilton Continentals did not defeat last season, having tied in the season opener and lost in OT at Amherst.

Amherst has dominated the matchup in recent history with Hamilton's win at home in 2016 the only win for the Buff and Blue over the Purple and White in a decade. The Conts enter the season with the best goalie in the nation in Evan "Boots" Buitenhuis and an offensive core that returns top scorer Neil Conway, First Team All-NESCAC forward Brandon Willett and others that made significant contributions including Rory Gagnon  Nick Ursitti and Willet's co-captain Tyler Bruneteau. Willett is coming off a pretty brutal season ending injury late last season, so it will be interesting to see how he recovers.

Questions lay in front of Boots, literally, as the d-core took a hit to graduation, specifically Brad Smelstor, Connor Lamberti and Arizona's own Jon Carkeek. No blueliner on the roster is a senior and they will look to Bennett Morrison's snipeability and newcomers like 6'6" Stephen Cochrane, who comes to Clinton after dressing for 16 games for D1 Maine last season.

The Mammoths will look to a  strong core in senior goalie Connor Girard (the internal team pick for MVP last season) and a roster that returns virtually everyone from last season's fifth place team, including senior Thomas Lidstrom, their most consistent scorer the past few seasons, sophomore Pat Daly and senior David White. Noah Gilreath and Phil Johannson will help lead the blueline with captains Tyler Granara and Pat Mooney.

Both of these teams figure to be in the hunt for a top spot in the NESCAC. USCHO has Hamilton predicted to finish at 1 and Amherst at 3 while the Wordpress blog groups them both in the top tier. Hamilton has the higher ceiling, methinks, but Amherst does have a solid core and is always so well coached. Beating Amherst in the opener would  be a step for the Continentals in exorcising the demons of Lord Jeff past.

Conn College at Wesleyan
 7 PM Live Stats Video   Wesleyan Argus Team Preview  Wesleyan Preview

It's an in-state matchup between two teams that finished technically just two spots in the standings away from one another but what was in reality a much larger gap. Conn College improved from a dismal 2014-15 to have just a bad 2015-16, while Wesleyan finished seventh in 2016-17 but won 13 games total and almost made the NESCAC finals.  In terms of head-to-head Wesleyan won at Conn College in the season opener and tied in Middletown later in the season.

The Cardinals graduated James Kline, a lone offensive bright spot in two darker seasons prior to last season, and workhorse goaltender Dawson Spiggings, but return much of their core including stud junior blueliner Chad Malinowski and rookie of the year Walker Harris. They'll likely turn to junior George Blinick in net, who showed flashes last season of solid goaltending in nine appearances but was inconsistent against stronger competition. They had a small recruiting class which may see some impact from forwards like Cam Peritz.

For the Camels, they lost their leading scorers in Brian Belisle and Joe Giordano, but there wasn't much scoring going on. They'll look to returners like Jeff Thompson to step up their game as well as some newcomers, which includes Paul Capozzi and seven other frosh. Avery Gobbo and Connor Roddericks should compete for time in net.

In terms of the season outlook, things are a bit brighter for the Cardinals. The wordpress blog has them at the bottom of the top tier of teams alongside the likes of Trinity, Hamilton and Amherst, while USCHO has them moving up a spot from last season to sixth. For the Camels, USCHO has them coming in at nine again and the blog has them at the bottom as well.

Tufts at Trinity
7:30 PM  Live Stats Video  Trinity Preview  Matt Greason Interview  Tufts Preview

This is an intriguing matchup of Tufts, looking to make a push into the top half of the league, and Trinity, the class of the league who graduated a stellar senior class but returns their starting goaltender, many key pieces such as goalie Alex Morin and forward Anthony Sabitsky, and a top rated recruiting class.   Tufts has 21 freshman and sophomore on the roster to complement key returners like Jordan Haney and Nik Nugnes, who took over full time from senior Mason Pulde and earned All-NESCAC honors. The two split last season's matchup with Tufts winning the season opener at the Malden Valley Forum (please stop making us write this, Tufts #OnCampusRinkNow) and Trinity demolishing the Jumbos 7-1 in Hartford later in the regular season and then knocking out the Jumbos from the playoffs in Hartford for the NESCAC  Quarterfinals.

We've waited long enough, it's time to just play!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

2016-17 Hamilton Hockey Year in Review

We wrap up the season reviews from last season headed into the new season with regular season champ Hamilton. 
Teammates console goalie Evan Buitenhuis after OT loss in NESCAC Finals

1. Hamilton
2015-16 Reccord
11-3-4 (1st in NESCAC)
20-5-4  Overall

Overall (Conf. Rank)                                     Conference Games (Conf. Ranks)
Offense - 3.17 G/GM (2nd                                                      Offense - 2.78 G/GM (3rd)
Defense - 1.86 G/GM (1st)                                                       Defense - 1.56 G/GM (1st)
Power Play - 27/161 16.8% (8th)                                              Power Play - 13/106 12.3% (9th)
Penalty Kill - 86/97 88.7% (4th)                                              Penalty Kill - 57/65 87.7% (2nd) 
Penalty Minutes - 9.4/Gm (6th)                                             Penalty Minutes - 9.2/Gm (6th) 

Season Review
Hamilton looked to continue their rise up the NESCAC standings in 2016-17 after moving from ninth in 2013-14 to sixth in 2014-15 and then fourth in 2015-16.  There's no better building block in hockey than a stud goaltender and the Continentals not only possessed the best goaltender in the NESCAC, they had arguably the best goaltender in the nation in Evan Buitenhuis headed into the season. Add to that the return of two fellow All-NESCACers in Conor Lamberti and Robbie Murden and the Continentals had high hopes headed into the season.

The Conts started out a program best 11-0-2 to start the season (bolstered by a cupcake OOC schedule) until they fell to Tufts 3-1 in January. A brief 1-3-2 slide was just a bump in the road before a 5-0-0 run down the stretch earned the Continentals the first overall seed for the first time since 2011 when they were upset by an eight seeded Wesleyan team.

There would be no such 8/1 let down as the Conts took care of business 4-2 against Bowdoin to earn the first ever NESCAC finals weekend at Sage Rink, the second oldest barn in college hockey. The Conts rallied in a wild semifinal to beat Wesleyan 5-4 despite Boots giving up more than three goals for the first time all season.

Senior captain Robbie Murden, who suffered a near career ending injury against Trinity in late January, fought back to return in what could have been his last hockey game in the NESCAC finals. He scored to join the 100 point club but Hamilton lost the finals 3-2 in OT to leave their postseason hopes to the discretion of the selection committee.

The Continentals earned their first NCAA tournament bid as an at-large team and traveled to the shores of Lake Ontario to upset the Lakers 3-1 thanks to the 101s and 102nd points of Murden's career and 34 saves from Buitenhuis. The magic carpet ride ended with a 6-2 flat appearance against Norwich, the eventual national champion who lost only one game all season, in the NCAA Quarterfinals. A win would have sent the Conts to the nearby Aud in Utica for the DIII Phrozen Four.

Despite the loss, the season was the most successful in the program's history. They received contributions throughout the lineup from junior Brandon Willett, who made First Team All-NESCAC despite snapping his leg to end his season in the final weekend of the regular season, to senior Jon Carkeek, who made Second Team All-NESCAC as a defenseman all the way down to freshman like smooth skating blue-liner Bennett Morrison and forward Nick Ursitti, who scored the game winner against Wesleyan. And then, of course, there is Boots.

High Point
The come from behind win against Wesleyan in the NESCAC semis not only kept the Contientals hopes for the NCAA tournament alive, it was a legit exciting environment in a rink that hasn't seen too much excitement in the recent past.

Low Point 
The 1-0 loss at Colby capped off the 1-3-2 run that looked like the Continentals might slip into the mid/late season slump they fell into in 2015-16.

Evan Buitenhuis (G, '18) NESCAC Player of the Year, Sid Watson Award Winner for most oustanding DII player. Need we say more?

From high school for Trinity to middle school for Colby to...before I was born for Hamilton. Buitenhuis was a brick wall for the Continentals.

2016-17 Colby Men's Hockey Year in Review

From the road team to the home team in the 2/7 game in one season.
Emerson Verrier's unexpected departure left a new #1 in net in Waterville

2. Colby Mules

2015-16 Reccord
11-4-3 (tied for 7th in NESCAC)
13-8-4 Overall

Overall (Conf. Rank)                                     Conference Games (Conf. Ranks)
Offense - 3.12 G/GM (4th)                                                         Offense - 2.28 G/GM (7th)
Defense - 2.54 G/GM (6th)                                                         Defense - 2.72 G/GM (8th)
Power Play - 19/96 19.8% (2nd)                                              Power Play - 12/66 18.2% (4th)
Penalty Kill - 71/82 86.6% (3rd)                                              Penalty Kill - 48/56 85.7% (3rd) 
Penalty Minutes - 7.3 /Gm (10th)                                             Penalty Minutes - 6.9 /Gm (9th) 

Season Review
Blaise MacDonald and Chris Hall, armed with a team full of their own recruits for the first time, looked to make significant strides from five and nine win seasons the two previous years. They had to make said strides with a new goalie, however, as the netminder from the previous season, Emerson Verrier, left the school. In stepped freshman goalie Andrew Tucci alongside key returners such as Devin Albert and  Cam Macdonald.

No individual had dazzling stats, but a team effort led the Mules out to a hot 5-1 start including sweeping the home-and-home with rival Bowdoin. The change in semesters saw the transfer of Sean Lawrence from Quinnipiac to form a rotation with Tucci in net. Both netminders showed flashes but neither settled in as a dominant presence. One of those flashes included Lawrence's shutout of Hamilton in a 1-0 game, part of Colby's 5-1 record down the stretch to earn a home playoff game for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

Lawrence got the nod over the frosh in net for a wild 5-4 quarterfinal loss to upstart seventh seed Wesleyan that saw a wardrobe malfunction from the rink with a broken glass panel on the boards.

High Point
It's an early point in the season, but sweeping the rivalry weekend with the Polar Bears in a pair of one goal games ain't too shabby.

Low Point 
A 7-2 loss to University of New England wasn't fun, but that was just an OOC game. The surprise loss to the Cardinals in which Lawrence only made 19 saves on 24 shots takes the cake.

Jack Burton (D, '17) The big blueliner  had 22 points for the Mules (6-16-22) and became the first Colby player to make the NESCAC first team since 2008.  Burton followed up his career at Colby with an ATO in the ECHL during spring break with the Indy Fuel and then earned a roster spot on the Fuel at the beginning of this season. With Jon Landry unsigned in the AHL, Burton is currently playing at the highest level of hockey of any NESCAC alum. 

The Trinity preview saw us going back to my high school days, now we're going back to middle school for Colby's season that saw regular season success turn into the bitter fruit of one-and-done playoff hockey. 

2016-17 Trinity Men's Hockey Year in Review

The Bantams celebrate a second straight NESCAC title after an OT goal from
Ryan Cole

2015-16 Reccord
11-5-2 (3rd in NESCAC)
21-7-3 Overall

Overall (Conf. Rank)                                     Conference Games (Conf. Ranks)
Offense - 3.97 G/GM (1st                                                      Offense - 3.61 G/GM (1st)
Defense - 1.87 G/GM (2nd)                                                       Defense - 1.94 G/GM (2nd)
Power Play - 31/147 21.1% (4th)                                              Power Play - 15/87 17.2% (5th)
Penalty Kill - 118/132 89.4% (3rd)                                              Penalty Kill - 66/76 86.8% (4th) 
Penalty Minutes - 11.1/Gm (5th)                                             Penalty Minutes - 12.0 /Gm (3rd) 

Season Review
The defending NESCAC champs entered the season as the prohibitive favorites returning most of the firepower from the best offensive unit in the 'CAC.

But the game is played on the ice, not paper, and the Bantams stumbled out of the gates, at least when one considers the expectations. Eight games into the conference schedule Matt Greason's squad sat at a pedestrian 4-4 after a weekend sweep in Maine including a 5-1 loss to the newly lowly Bowdoin Polar Bears.  But the firepower could not be held back and the Bantams would only lose twice more all season after that day in Brunswick, once against Williams in February and then not again until the national title game.

In order to get to that national title game, they first had to claim the Iron Throne of the NESCAC. After disposing of Tufts in the Quarterfinals, the Bantams scored four unanswered to get past Williams for a matchup with first time NESCAC finals host Hamilton. In an absolutely electric finals, Trinity prevailed 3-2 in overtime on an off-angle shot from senior Ryan Cole.

In the NCAA tournament opener, Trinity took care of Plattsburgh for the second time in three years, before needing 69 shots and double overtime to defeat Endicott and earn a trip to the Utica Memorial Auditorium for he DIII Phrozen Phour. The Bantams went 4-1 in five NCAA tournament games in three seasons at the Koeppel Center between 2015 and 2017.

In Utica, the Bantams held off a physical St. Norbert's Knights team to reach their second national title game in three seasons and an All-East final against the mighty Cadets of Norwich. The Bantams never really found their flow in the game, something not uncommon against a Cadets team that lost one game all season, and finished the first runner-up in the DII world after a 4-1 loss.

High Point
Coach Greason was absolutely gushing about his team after the St. Norbert's victory, admitting he needed to give pretty sanitized answers to avoid getting emotional. The icing on the cake was senior captain Sam Johnson scoring only his third collegiate tally for the game winner.

Low Point 
It's hard to call losing the national title game a low in terms of achievement, but in terms of emotional gut punches, there's not much more painful in the immediate moment.

The Seniors  With due respect to junior Anthony Sabitsky, who made the First Team All-NESCAC team, we are giving this to the senior class (Sean Orlando, Ethan Holdaway, Will Sleeper, TJ Sherman, Sam Johnson, Ryan Cole and Brandon Cole). The seven man class of '17 made 3 NCAA Tournaments (15, 16, 17) in which they went 7-2, won 2 NESCAC titles (16 and 17), finished 1st in the NESCAC regular season standings twice (14 and 15), made 2 DIII Frozen Fours (15 and 17) and won the program's first ever NCAA men's hockey title (15). In addition, Ryan Cole (59-84-143) and Orlando (64-67-131) joined the 100 point club during their time in Hartford. Also, they apparently killed it in the classroom. 

The Bantams wouldn't stop moving their feet towards the national title game despite a lackluster start. In honor of the  Trinity senior class, here is a song from my senior year in high school that I couldn't get get out of my friggin head at the time. Godspeed to wherever Junior Senior are these days. 

2016-17 Williams Men's Hockey Year in Review

David Italiano led the Ephs in scoring
Next up is fourth place Williams

2016-17 Reccord
10-5-3 (4th in NESCAC)
14-6-2 Overall

Overall (Conf. Rank)                                     Conference Games (Conf. Ranks)
Offense - 3.00 G/GM (7th                                                      Offense - 3.17 G/GM (2nd)
Defense - 2.58 G/GM (7th)                                                       Defense - 2.72 G/GM (6th)
Power Play - 24/101 23.8% (2nd)                                              Power Play - 16/66 24.2% (1st)
Penalty Kill - 73/94 77.7% (8th)                                              Penalty Kill - 47/60 78.3% (8th) 
Penalty Minutes - 9.1/Gm (7th)                                             Penalty Minutes - 8.7/Gm (8th) 

Season Review
Williams entered the season with a sense of optimism despite graduating All-American Zander Masucci from a team that saw the Ephs finish first in the NESCAC regular season and earned an NCAA Tournament win for the first time in school history. The optimism came from what still remained: nine of their top ten scorers and an Al-Conference goalie and Co-NESCAC Rookie of The Year in netminder Michael Pinios.

Pinios, however, suffered a bit of a sophomore slump, allowing over one more goal per game in his second collegiate season and dropping .50 in save percentage on the season. Williams was still a strong team but they never strung together more than a five game unbeaten streak and backed into the playoffs with a four seed after a final regular season sweep at the hands of Amherst and Hamilton.  They took care of the Purple and White just a week later in the NESCAC quarterfinals before falling to Trinity 4-2 thanks to four unanswered from the Bantams in the semis.

Out of conference they had the hardest non-conference schedule in the league that included a win over then top ranked Oswego in OT and a one-goal loss to eventual national champion Norwich the next day in the Northfield Bank tournament finals.

High Point
In early February, Williams avenged a road blanking at Trinity earlier in the season with three unanswered third period goals against the Bantams in Williamstown for a 3-1 victory in early February. The win left the Ephs in the driver's seat for first place...

Low Point 
...but a sweep by the Purple and White and Buff and Blue killed that hope.

David Italiano (F, '18)  Italiano led the league in conference scoring (9-16-25) and had 31 points overall on the season (12-19-31) for his first All-NESCAC selection.

The Ephs survived Pinios' sophomore slump to comeback for a solid, if not still disappointing season for their aspirations.