Williams College coach Bill Kangas and his squad dropped a 3-0 decision to second-ranked SUNY Geneseo Saturday afternoon at Lansing Chapman Rink.

It was a measuring-stick game for the Williams College men's hockey team Saturday afternoon, to see how the Ephs compared with one of the best teams in all of Division III.

The verdict was that coach Bill Kangas' Ephs can play with teams like second-ranked SUNY Geneseo. Unfortunately for Kangas and his team, two third-period goals broke open a close game and the No. 2 Knights skated to a 3-0 win over the Ephs at Lansing Chapman Rink in Williamstown.

"Clearly, we're looking to get better every game. That's kind of been our goal. This was no different. You want to win every game you play," Kangas said in a post-game interview with The Eagle. "I thought we can take a lot from the game. As I said to the guys, you look back at the beginning of the year where you think things are moving along well, but there is another gear. I think this will make us a better team. I think this will make us have a better week of practice, and get us ready for our second round of NESCAC games.

"Obviously, we would have liked to have won, but at the same time, I think when the kids reflect on their game and where they can improve, I think the guys will bring a high level of compete this week, and we expect a better week of practice.

Williams, who beat Connecticut College 3-2 on Tuesday, falls to 7-5-0. The Ephs are scheduled to host Bowdoin and Colby next weekend, as they return to conference play.

Defenseman Chris Perna had a big afternoon for the Knights, as he scored the game-winning goal late in the second period to break the scoreless tie. He also assisted on a power-play goal by Dan Bosio in the third period.

Goalie Matt Petizian recorded his fourth shutout of the season, making 23 saves. Petizian was not overly busy in the contest, but he came up with several key stops. None bigger than one he made six minutes into the first period. 

Williams' Henry Mueller, skating on the right wing with center Jamie Cates and left wing Nicholas Rashkovsky, carried the puck into the Geneseo zone, skated behind Petizian in goal, and tried a wraparound shot. Petizian made the save, did not control the puck, which gave Rashkovsky a shot. This time Petizian smothered the high shot for a save. 

Six minutes later, Mueller and Rashkovsky teamed up for another pretty good chance. They got out on an odd-man rush, but with Mueller in the slot, Rashkovsky elected to shoot and Petizian gobbled the puck up.

In the second period, Geneseo killed off a tripping minor against Ryan Burnett, and that seemed to give the Knights some momentum. Williams first-year goalie Cal Sandquist, who played well despite stopping 20 of 23 shots, was tested when Geneseo's Levi Wunder was sprung on a partial breakaway. Sandquist made the save on the shot from the left face-off circle.

"Sandquist was great in goal. He played really well," Kangas said. "He gave us a chance. They did a good job getting [the puck] to him, but he's a pretty talented kid and I thought he did a good job today."

The Knights finally got to Sandquist late in the second period when Tyson Gilmour set up Perna for the first goal. But Sandquist kept the score 1-0 when he robbed Nathan Poolman, who had a wide open shot from the top of the slot.

Geneseo made it 2-0 just 2:02 into the third period, when Stefan Miklakos and Greg Koutsomitis got out on an odd-man rush and Miklakos put the puck into the net. A power-play goal by Dan Bosio accounted for the 3-0 final score.

"They're a top team for a reason," Kangas said of Saturday's opponent. "I think their consistency was their strength. We had chances to convert in the first [period] and in part of the second one, we had some chances. If you play a team like that, you have to capitalize."

If the Ephs are looking for a silver lining inside the cloud of Saturday's loss, it's the fact that the Ephs still hold a seven-point lead over Hamilton in the NESCAC standings. The Continentals had games with Connecticut College and Tufts postponed this weekend. 


First Period

No scoring

Penalties — G: Koutsomitis (Closing hand on puck), 15:34.

Second Period

G: Perna (Gilmour, Doran), 16:38.

Penalties — G: Burnett (Interference), 4:17. W: Lawrick (Interference), 17:30.

Third Period

G: Miklakos (Koutsoitis), 2:02. G: Bosio (Perna), 5:27 (PP).

Penalties — W: Karamanis (Interference), 3:26. G: Miklakos (Interference), 6;14.

Shots on goal — Geneseo 9-8-6 23. Williams 7-6-11 24. 

Saves — G: Matt Petizian 24. W: Cal Sundquist 20.

Howard Herman can be reached at  hherman@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6253. 


Howard Herman is a sports columnist at The Berkshire Eagle. The dean of full-time sportswriters in Western Mass., he has been with the Eagle since 1988, and is a member of the New England Baseball and Basketball Hall of Fame.