MALDEN - Visiting Williams College scored twice 16 seconds part with under three minutes remaining in the third period to give the Ephs a dramatic 5-4 comeback win at Tufts University in a NESCAC men's hockey game Friday night at Valley Forum.
|Nick Balboa scored unassisted to give Tufts a third-period lead|
Tufts sophomore Nick Balboa had scored unassisted on a tremendous individual effort with 7:32 remaining in the third to put Tufts up 4-3. However, Williams goals by sophomore Roberto Cellini with 2:59 remaining in regulation and the game-winner by senior Taylor Carmola with 2:43 on the clock gave the Ephs their fifth win in the last seven games.
With the victory, Williams pulled into a tie for first in NESCAC at 6-2-3 in the league (9-5-3 overall). Tufts remained in seventh place in the conference with a 5-5-1 mark, while falling to 7-7-3 overall. The Jumbos have won just once in seven games for 2017.
Tufts scored twice barely a minute apart late in the first period to grab a 2-0 lead. Senior Conal Lynch's wrist shot from inside the right circle beat Williams goalie Stephen Morrissey with 1:26 left in the opening period. Junior Brian Brown then gave the hosts a 2-0 advantage by jamming the puck home from the right post with 23 seconds left in the first. The tally was Brown's team-high eighth of the year.
The second period would see four goals, including a shortie and two power-play strikes. Williams got on the scoreboard with the shorthanded goal as a Tufts player lost his balance and turned the puck over. Eph junior Colby Cretella turned that into a goal making it 2-1 four minutes into the second. Less than a minute later, Williams senior Tyler Young evened the game at 2-2 with his fifth goal of the season at 4:50 of the second.
Tufts would regain the lead on a power play as freshman Machlan Sawden deflected a shot from the left point by classmate Jordan Haney into the goal at 8:15 of the second. The Ephs would retaliate with their own power play goal as senior Alex Hagerty scored from the left circle at 15:44 of the period. Tufts had an 18-6 advantage in shots for the second, but Morrissey made 17 saves.
Into the third, Balboa took on three Williams defenders in the offensive zone and won the battle by somehow beating Morrissey to the far top corner from the left side with 7:32 remaining in regulation.
However, Eph senior Frankie Mork, who would finish the game with three assists, had helpers on both late goals by the Ephs which won the game. The game-winner by Carmola was a deflection for his first career goal. He also blocked five shots in the game.
The Jumbos pulled goalie Nick Nugnes with 1:15 left in the third, but Morrissey wrapped up his 35-save performance by protecting the lead until the final buzzer. Cellini finished with a goal and an assist for the visitors.
Brown tallied a goal and an assist for Tufts, while Haney had two assists. Nugnes made 27 saves in net. The Jumbos won 35 of 65 face-offs with freshman Ross Delabruere taking 13 of 19 and classmate Tyler Scroggins winning 11 of 17.
The Jumbos host Middlebury in NESCAC action tomorrow at 4 pm. Williams travels to Connecticut College for Saturday conference play at 3 pm.