WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- In a battle of the last two undefeated NCAA Division III teams in New England, Craig Kitto's second-period unassisted goal proved to be enough to lift Williams to an out-of-conference 3-2 win against previously unbeaten Babson on Saturday afternoon in Lansing Chapman Rink.
After losing possession of the puck out in front of the net, Kitto immediately hunted down the Babson defender that took the puck from him, lifted his stick from behind and seized possession of the puck again. He then roofed a wrist shot into the top right corner past Babson sophomore goaltender Jamie Murray just under the crossbar for what would pan out to be the game-winning goal for the Ephs.
With the win, Williams improves to 4-0-1, 3-0-1 NESCAC while Babson suffers its first loss and falls to 8-1-0, 5-0 ECAC East.
The only goal of the first period was scored at the 18:17 mark of the period. Freshman defenseman Frankie Mork scored low to Murray's blocker side after receiving a crafty backhand pass from fellow freshman George Hunkele. Hunkele was awarded the lone assist on the goal.
The Ephs did not take long to extend their lead. At the 3:34 mark of the second period, Hunkele found himself on the doorstep where he was able to beat Murray on an easy tap-in goal. Hunkele received a cross-ice pass from senior captain Nick Anderson; Murray was not able to slide across the crease in time to deny Hunkele. Freshman James McNamara was also awarded an assist on the play.
After Kitto's second-period goal that proved to be the game winner, the Ephs found themselves up by three goals. But Babson scored a goal less than 90 seconds following Kitto's goal. With just more than two minutes remaining in the period, Connor Berto scored for Babson to cut the lead to 3-1 going into the locker room for the second intermission.
Babson was relentless in its attack in the third period, outshooting the Ephs 16-4. The lone shot that was able to beat Williams goalie Sean Dougherty came on the power play for Babson. Senior forward Nik Tasiopoulos hammered away a rebound that slid between Dougherty's legs and into the back of the net.
Babson head coach Jamie Rice elected to pull his goaltender with just under two minutes remaining. Despite peppering Dougherty with shots, Babson could not score.
Dougherty finished the night with 39 saves on 41 shots for the Ephs while Murray finished his night with 27 saves on the 30 shots that he faced.