WILLIAMSTOWN >> Three minutes isn't very much time. But for the Williams College men's hockey team, it was the difference between victory and defeat.
Trailing by two goals in the second period, the 13th-ranked Ephs scored three times in a three-minute span and held off No. 7 Trinity down the stretch in a 3-2 win Saturday night at Lansing Chapman Rink.
Zander Masucci's power-play goal at 14:13 of the second period broke a 2-2 tie and helped the Ephs (7-3-1, 5-1-1 in NESCAC) take over first place in the conference, one point ahead of Middlebury. Trinity (7-3-1, 3-2-0) saw its four-game unbeaten, and three-game winning streak ended.
"We went down two goals against a very good team, two power-play goals. It takes one play," said Williams coach Bill Kangas. "We got two power-play goals, so we were able to match their power plays. That was the difference.
"I thought the guys battled hard. The fact that we came from behind to do this was something we've been working on. It was a pretty good effort."
Williams hosts winless Wesleyan (0-6-5, 0-1-4) Sunday afternoon with a chance for the Ephs' third four-point NESCAC weekend this season.
Freshman goalie Michael Pinios got the start, faced 33 shots and gave up only two power-play goals. One to Mark Knowlton in the first period and one to Brad Buvinow in the second.
"He did a really good job," said Kangas. "Our goalies, all three of them, have been playing really well. We just felt like giving Pinios a chance. He's been playing the second night. We felt he earned the right to play today."
The freshman from Montreal made 23 of his 31 saves in the final two periods. He robbed the Bantams' Ethan Holloway on a quick glove save with 9:23 left in the third. Five minutes later, Anthony Sabisky got behind the Eph defense on a breakaway but Pinios stood tall and made a save.
Williams got on the board at 11:16 of the second period when Alex Hagerty scored on a breakaway, his first varsity goal, putting a shot over the glove of goalie Alex Morin. Then, with Trinity's Sean Orlando serving a slashing minor, Williams' C.J. Shugart tapped home a loose puck in the crease to tie the game at 13:06.
The game-winning goal was scored at 14:13, and only six seconds into an Eph power play. David Italiano shoveled the puck to Masucci at the top of the slot, and the captain's shot went through a screen and found the back of the net to put the Ephs ahead for keeps.