December 11, 2012

Division 3 Journal: Williams College cutting it close

By Mike Zhe

Peter Mistretta (New Canaan, Conn.) leads the Ephmen with six tallies this season. (Photo: Williams College Athletics)

Williams College has four weeks off between games and nobody can say it didn’t earn the break.

The Ephmen closed out the pre-holiday portion of their schedule with four straight wins. The last three have come by a single goal, including 2-1 wins over NESCAC rivals Amherst and Hamilton over the weekend.

On Saturday against the Continentals, Mark Lyons and Matt Doyle scored goals 62 seconds apart in the second period, and the defense and goalie Sean Dougherty (17 saves) held the rest of the way.

Talk about living dangerously. Of the six wins this season for the Ephmen (6-2, 5-1 NESCAC), four have been by one goal.

"When you win a game like this, it really builds team confidence in each other," said Williams coach Bill Kangas after Saturday’s game. "It also helps you going forward when you play games like this, that you've been in this situation before and you've experienced getting scored on, and being able to handle it in the right way." 

The Ephmen aren’t skating rings around opponents. Their 2.62 goals per game average doesn’t even crack the top 50 in Division 3. But their 1.88 goals allowed ranks 10th and they’ve been efficient on special teams.

Sophomore forward Peter Mistretta (New Canaan, Conn.) is leading the attack with six goals and nine points, but no other player has scored more than three times.

Dougherty (1.76 goals-against average, .939 save percentage), a sophomore who bided his time watching standout Ryan Purdy between the pipes last year, has taken the starting job and ran with it.

In conference play, they’ve rolled off five straight wins since a 2-0 opening-night loss at Bowdoin, and trail only Bowdoin (9-0-1, 5-0-1 NESCAC) in the standings as the league goes on hiatus until after Christmas.

Player of the Week
Daniel Weiniger, F, Bowdoin

Weiniger collected four goals and two assists as the Polar Bears went 3-0 last week. Included in his points was a game-winning goal against Tufts that gave him 100 for his career. The senior leads the NESCAC with nine goals and 14 points.

Game of the Week
Southern New Hampshire at Plymouth State, Saturday 2 p.m.

Granite State bragging rights at stake on the first light weekend of the Division 3 schedule. Host Panthers have won six straight since a Nov. 13 overtime loss to Westfield State.

New EnglandDivision 3 Power Rankings

1. Norwich (10-0, 7-0 ECAC East)

Matic Marinsek’s 27 saves and a second-period goal by Kyle Thomas (Waltham, Mass.) were enough for the Cadets to stay unbeaten with a 1-0 win at Plattsburgh Friday.

2. Bowdoin (9-0-1, 5-0-1 NESCAC)

Sophomore forward John McGinnis led the scoring parade with three goals in wins over Tufts (5-3) and Conn. College (7-1).

3. Plymouth State (7-1, 5-1 MASCAC)

Panthers’ depth this year extends to the net, where senior Jack Astedt (2.37 GAA, .923 save percentage) and junior Tyler Ingerson of Concord, N.H. (0.67, .974) have both been solid.

4. Amherst (4-2-1, 3-1 NESCAC)

Sophomore Mike Rowbotham had a goal and an assist as Lord Jeffs went on the road Saturday and won at Middlebury, 4-2.

5. Middlebury (4-2-2, 3-1-2 NESCAC)

Defenseman Ben Wiggins’ (Cambridge, Mass.) goal 31 seconds into overtime salvaged a 5-4 win over Hamilton, the high point of the Panthers’ weekend.

6. Trinity (5-1-1, 2-1-1 NESCAC)

Will Gray’s (Wellesley, Mass.) shorthanded strike in the third period was the big one in a 3-1 win against Manhattanville.

7. Babson (5-2-2, 3-2-1 ECAC East)

Babson closed out the pre-holiday portion of its schedule with five wins in a row, including Wednesday’s 4-2 win at Curry that saw it come back from early 2-0 deficit.

8. UMass-Boston (7-2-1, 3-2-1 ECAC East)

Senior Mike DeGrazia (10-10-20) and junior Travis Daniel (8-12-20) are both off to strong starts for the Beacons, who don’t play again until January.

9. Williams (6-2, 5-1 NESCAC)

Ephmen closed out pre-holiday schedule with four straight wins, including the last three by one goal..

10. UMass-Dartmouth (5-2-2, 4-1-1 MASCAC)

Sting of 5-1 home loss to Plymouth State eased by 5-2 win at Framingham State a night later, with Phil Bronner (Wilbraham, Mass.) scoring twice.

Mike Zhe can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @MikeZhe603.