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Men’s Ice Hockey Drops Home Opener to Williams

Brett Stirling

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Bobby Beniers scored a shorthanded goal in the middle of the second period to help propel Williams to a 3-1 comeback victory over the Connecticut College men's ice hockey team in the Camels' home opener on Friday evening at Dayton Arena.

The Camels struck first at the 7:52 mark of the first period during a line change. Freshman Youngoon Choi (Seoul, South Korea) received a pass from junior Brett Stirling (Aurora, Ontario) and sent the puck from the right point to freshman Luke Uhler (Upland, Calif.) in the slot, and the freshman skated uncontested to pot his first goal as a collegian. Connecticut College nearly doubled its lead when senior Jacob Moreau (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec) found an open Matt Creamer (Warwick, R.I.) near the right faceoff circle, but the assistant captain's shot that beat goalie Cosimo Lazzarino to the upper left corner clinked off the pipe.

After dodging a bullet, Williams (3-0, NESCAC 3-0) was able to knot the score in a penalty-plagued period on a failed clear attempt by the Camel defense. Myles Cunningham stopped the puck along the left boards and sent it up to Nick Altmann, who found a cutting Will Somers on the right side for the equalizer at 12:08. Both teams successfully killed off two additional power plays and headed into the first intermission tied at 1-1.

Connecticut College nearly regained the lead at the midway point of the period when senior captain Ryan Petti (Tewksbury, Mass.) won a faceoff that came to the stick of sophomore Anthony Quatieri (Peabody, Mass.). However, the forward's shot hit off the pipe to keep the score tied.

The biggest and very unexpected momentum changer happened in the middle of the second period when Cunningham was issued a five-minute major for grasping the facemask of Creamer and sent off the ice with a game misconduct. Even though the Ephs had to play shorthanded for five minutes, they scored just 10 seconds after the major penalty to take control. Moreau had his shot blocked by Bobby Beniers off the ensuing faceoff from the penalty, and Beniers raced down the ice and finished to the other end and finished with what would be the eventual game-winning marker.

The Camels, who came up empty in the second despite unleashing 36 total shots in the period, were also unable to get anything past Lazzarino in the third. Shortly after pulling Rodericks with under two minutes remaining, the Ephs put the game away by getting an empty netter off the stick of Tyler Scott.

Lazzarino picked up the victory for Williams by turning away 43 shots. Senior Connor Rodericks (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) suffered the loss for the Camels after making 28 saves.

Connecticut College (2-2, NESCAC 1-2) will next host Middlebury tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m.