Photo Gallery | Williams Men's Hockey plays Colby College
WILLIAMSTOWN — It may only be two games into their Williams College hockey careers, but the freshmen got a quick lesson on what a four-point weekend means.
"The boys have been talking about it a lot. It's just huge to start the season off this way," said Williams forward Roberto Cellini. "We're looking to build some momentum off this weekend."
The Ephs completed a four-point NESCAC weekend by beating Colby 1-0 Sunday afternoon. Cellini scored the game's only goal early in the second period and freshman goalie Michael Pinios earned his first shutout in his inaugural varsity start.
Williams had started the weekend off with a 4-1 win over Bowdoin Saturday night.
The Ephs entered the season ranked 14th in the D3hockey.com Top 15 poll.
"On the weekend, I thought we played very well," Williams coach Bill Kangas said. "Obviously, both teams challenged us at times. I thought we played really well defensively. We competed and today was a grind, a real grind."
Saturday night, Williams scored three unanswered goals to break a 1-1 tie. David Italiano's power-play goal broke the tie, and Eph goalie Noah Klag made 30 saves.
Sunday afternoon, Pinios was not nearly as busy. The freshman from Montreal made 11 saves on the day, four each in the final two periods.
Pinios said he got word from Kangas on Saturday that he would start against Colby. Pinios said he was thrilled with the shutout but was also quick to give credit to the players in front of him.
"It's an unbelievable feeling. The boys really sacrificed the body today. I think they had more blocked shots than I had saves today," said Pinios, who attended St. Paul's School in New Hampshire. "It was a really good team effort. We kept things to the outside and that made it really simple for me."
For his part, Kangas liked what he saw of Pinios.
"He was real calm. He kept the pucks to the side. I thought he competed well and saw the pucks well," said the coach. "I thought we blocked a lot of shots in the third period, but Michael made some saves, too. To get a shutout, a goalie is going to have to make a couple of big saves. He did that for us today."
Williams had a 16-3 shot advantage and had three power plays in the first period. The Ephs came up empty as goalie Emerson Verrier made save after save. The best Williams scoring chance came with Griffin Fadden serving a holding call. Williams' C.J. Shugart hopped on a puck but missed the net with Verrier out of position.
Six minutes into the second period, Williams got on the board. Cellini deflected a shot past Verrier. The announcement on the goal was originally for another freshman, Michael Lata. Between the second and third periods, the officials changed the call and Cellini had the goal. Frankie Mork and Luke Stickel got the assists.
"I didn't really think about it at all. I was buzzing with the linemates about it, so I really didn't hear [the announcement]. It was a great feeling," said Cellini. "Frankie Mork took it down the half wall and put a nice, tippable shot on net. I think it just squeezed by his arm, near post, and the rest is history."
Verrier made 30 saves for Colby, now 0-2.
After Thanksgiving, Williams will return to the ice for two non-league home games. The Ephs play SUNY-Geneseo (4-1-2) Saturday afternoon and Johnson & Wales (3-1-2) on Sunday.