Williams College is finding ways to get things done at the end.
The Ephs (11-4-1, 7-2-1 NESCAC) extended their win streak to four games over the weekend as they kept up the pressure on first-place Wesleyan (10-4-2, 8-0-2), getting late goals to seal victories against Bowdoin (2-0) and Colby (6-3).
“We’ve had a tough schedule, which I think has helped build our resilience,” Williams coach Bill Kangas (South Burlington, Vt.) said after the Bowdoin win. “The guys played consistently and, against a strong Bowdoin team, we did a good job stopping their advances. We played a really smart hockey game.”
Against Bowdoin, it was a scoreless game with five minutes to go when the Ephs struck. Sophomore Mike Armstrong (West Newton, Mass.) deflected a shot from junior Peter Christie (Durham, N.H.) from the right point that beat goalie Alex Zafonte (33 saves).
Freshman Nick Altmann added an empty-netter in the final minute.
Against Colby, a 4-0 lead midway through the second period was a distant memory when the Mules roared back with three straight goals in the third period to make it 4-3 with five minutes left.
This time, the Ephs sealed things with a late penalty kill after Wyatt Glover was called for interference with 2:59 left. Armstrong and Niko Karamanis scored empty-net goals in the final minute after their team returned to fulls strength.
“(That) was a good game for us because it proved to us that hockey needs to be played until the final buzzer, even four goals up early in the game,” said Kangas.
The 11th-ranked Ephs, who’ve been paced offensively by seniors Marcus Mollica (11-10-21) and Roberto Cellini (4-12-16), hit the road to play at Tufts and Conn. College this weekend, and will need to collect those points if they have designs on catching Wesleyan.
The following weekend — home game against Wesleyan and No. 9 Trinity — will go a long way toward shaping the final standings in the NESCAC.
Team of the Week
The Cadets (11-4-3, 7-4-1 NEHC) made a jump in the league and national standings by sweeping the league’s top two teams — Babson and UMass-Boston — over the weekend without allowing a goal.
Junior goalie Tom Aubrun stopped all 19 shots he faced in the 4-0 win over No. 14 Babson, then turned aside 28 in the 2-0 blanking of No. 8 UMB, his third and fourth career shutouts.
Armed with a No. 13 national ranking, the Cadets tacked on a 3-2 win at Middlebury on Tuesday with junior Jordan Hall scoring the game-winner with 23 seconds left in regulation.
Player of the Week
Brady Fleurent (Biddeford, Maine), sr., C, University of New England
Fleurent is back atop the scoring heap in Division 3 (13-22-35) after fattening his totals with eight points during a 3-0 week for the No. 12 Nor’easters (13-4-1, 7-3 CCC).
He had three assists in a 4-1 non-conference win over Colby, and scored three goals and two assists in a weekend sweep of Becker.
Fleurent and UNE play a home-and-home against Wentworth this weekend.
Game to Watch
Wesleyan at Amherst, Friday, 7 p.m.
The first-place Cardinals put their unbeaten league record on the line with a tough weekend on the road, starting at Amherst (8-5-2, 5-3-2 NESCAC).
Junior goalie Tim Sestak (Darien, Conn.) ranks third in Division 3 in save percentage (.947) and sixth in goals-against average for Wesleyan, which plays at Hamilton on Saturday during a stretch of four straight league road games.