Hartford, Conn. - Niko Karamanis (Coureenay, British Columbia) scored with 5:04 left to play in the third period to lift the Williams College Ephs to a 4-3 victory over the Trinity College Bantams on Friday night in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's hockey action at the Koeppel Center in Hartford. The Ephs scored three goals in the second period to come back from an early 1-0 deficit before scoring the game-winner in the third period, improving to 7-3-1 overall and 5-1-1 in conference play. Trinity, ranked No. 10 in the country, falls to 6-3-2 on the year and 2-2-1 in the NESCAC. The Bantams return to the ice tomorrow at 4 p.m. for a matchup versus Middlebury.
Trinity struck first in the early-going as senior captain Ryan Pfeffer (Canton, Mass.) potted his team-leading seventh goal of the season. Pfeffer's goal was set up by sophomore James Callahan (Gladstone, N.J.) and Lucas Michaud (South Portland, Maine) who were credited with assists on the play. Callahan sent the puck to Michaud, stationed behind the Williams net, who slipped a pass to Pfeffer who took care of the rest to put the Bantams ahead, 1-0.
Just over five minutes into the second period, Williams evened the score on the power play as Daniel Woolfenden (Mill Creek, Wash.) found the back of the net for his first of two goals on the evening. The Ephs were aided by concurrent Trinity penalties, despite having a player in the box themselves, which led to a 4-on-3. Woolfenden buried the puck home on assists from Roberto Cellini (Montreal, Quebec) and Marcus Mollica (Dove Canyon, Calif.). Cellini and Mollica also added assists on the second and third Eph goals of the game.
After Woolfenden's equalizer, Trinity reclaimed a one-goal lead thanks to a tally from junior assistant captain Adam Anderson (Lino Lakes, Minn.). Anderson beat Williams netminder Michael Pinios (Laval, Quebec) off a helper from Callahan to put the hosts ahead, 2-1, but the lead was short-lived. The Ephs answered with back-to-back goals separated by less than two minutes, beginning with Woolfenden's second at the 8:52 mark. Nick VanBelle (Stamford, Conn.) got involved in the scoring action with a goal at 10:03 to give Williams its first lead of the game, 3-2. The Ephs were called for a tripping penalty at 16:20 and nearly killed off the two-minute disadvantage, however Trinity tied things at 3-3 when Michaud fired a wrister into the top shelf of the net with three seconds left on the penalty. The five combined goals in the second frame sent the game into the final intermission deadlocked at 3-3.
The third period saw three total penalties but neither side came away with its second power play goal of the night. Near the midway point, Trinity found itself up a skater as junior Andy Chugg (Mesa, Ariz.) fired a shot that looked destined for goal, but the puck clanked off iron and away from harm. Then, with 5:04 showing on the scoreboard, Karamanis connected rubber with twine to give Williams its second lead of the game at 4-3. Trinity pulled junior goalie Tedy Loughborough (Wellesley Hills, Mass.) with 1:44 left to play, already up a man thanks to an Eph penalty, however Williams killed off the advantage and managed to hold the Bantams to come away with the 4-3 victory.
Both teams combined for 72 shots with the Bantams holding a slight edge, 38-34. Pinios finished the day with 35 stops while Loughborough tallied 30 saves. Both teams converted one power play while the Bantams won 45-of-76 faceoffs.