WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Two goals from Peter Mistretta were enough for Williams to defeat No. 12 Amherst 2-1. The Ephs (5-2, 4-1 NESCAC) relied on a strong defensive effort and key saves from goaltender Sean Dougherty in the win.
Mistretta has now scored four goals in the last two games and leads the Ephs with six goals on the season. David Jarrett, Greg Johnson and Alex DeBaere added assists.
Clinging to a 2-1 lead heading into the third period, the Ephs blocked a number of shots and won battles by the boards to get the puck out of the defensive zone.
When the puck did make it through the Williams defense, Dougherty was there to make the key stops. He stopped all of Amherst’s 17 shots in the third period and finished the night with 32 saves on 33 shots in 59:50 minutes of play.
With just over 14 minutes to play in the first frame, Wickman skated to the right corner of the offensive zone on the power play and slid a pass in front of the net, catching Amherst goalie Nathan Corey out of position. Wickman’s pass was unable to find a target, but Jarrett corralled the puck as it skidded to the left side and tapped it over to Mistretta, who buried a wrist shot under the post from the right circle to put the Ephs up 1-0.
The Lord Jeffs came back with a power-play goal of their own at the halfway point of the first period. The Amherst goal was set up by forward Conor Brown, who fired a pass on net from the right corner of the offensive zone. Forward Johnny Van Siclen tapped the puck through Dougherty’s legs to tie the score at one.
Amherst nearly took the lead later in the first, but was denied on a great save by Dougherty. With eight minutes remaining in the period, Amherst fired a wrist shot that deflected off Dougherty’s pad.
The Ephs came out fast in the second period and took the lead. The go-ahead goal was set up by DeBaere, who snapped a cross-ice pass to Mistretta. Mistretta fired a wrist shot that beat the out-of-position Amherst goalie for his second goal of the night to put Williams up for good.
“He’s a goal-scorer,” head coach Bill Kangas said of Mistretta after the game. “That’s his strength… He can shoot it, and he’s strong on his stick. At any point [when he's shooting] it can go in, he’s got that kind of release too.”
Corey finished the night with 16 saves on 18 shots in 58:55 minutes of play.
Amherst upped its intensity even more as the game wound down, but Williams’ defense once again held firm. The Eph defenders blocked a handful of shots down the stretch and relied on a strong forecheck by seniors Evan Dugdale, John Wickman and the other Eph forwards to kill the clock.
“I thought the seniors played really well across the board,” Kangas said. “All of them did little things during the game and made some plays during the game that really helped us.”
The Lord Jeffs had some chances in the final minute after they pulled their goalie, but forward Eric Rubino pushed the puck out of the defensive zone with 45 seconds remaining. After a save by Dougherty with 10 seconds to go, the Ephs won the faceoff and cleared the puck to seal the victory.
“When guys are crashing the net, and if the shot gets through from up top, it’s chaos,” Kangas said. “Guys were selling out; they were doing a good job making it tough for [Amherst] to get pucks to the net, and when they did Sean did a great job covering up or putting it away from the net.”