Williams men's hockey team routs Bowdoin for Kangas' 400th career victory

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WILLIAMSTOWN — Only four NESCAC hockey coaches had reached the 400-win mark. On Saturday, Williams' Bill Kangas made it five.

The Ephs scored five goals and first-year goalie Evan Ruschil stopped 40 shots as the Ephs improved to 2-0 with a 5-1 win over Bowdoin at Lansing Chapman Rink. The victory gave Kangas his 400th career victory.

"To do it at home, is even more special," Kangas said. "And the way we did it, the way we competed."

Kangas is the winningest hockey coach in Williams history, having long surpassed Bill McCormack's 329 wins. The Eph mentor, now in his 30th season, joins the NESCAC 400 Club along with former Middlebury coach Bill Beaney, former Bowdoin mentor Terry Meagher and former Trinity coach John Dunham, along with current Amherst coach Jack Arena.

"It's instant reflection. It kind of brings up a lot of emotion," Kangas said after celebrating the milestone with his team in the Eph locker room.

"Now, you think about past years," he said, "and how time flies. It's a great group of guys and I'm proud to be coaching them."

While the milestone is the headline of Saturday's game, Ruschil's performance ranks as the major subhead.

"I knew he was at 399," Ruschil said. "I was like 'I had to do this for coach.'"

The first-year from Katonah, N.Y., said he found out on Thursday that he and Cosimo Lazzarino would split the first two games. Lazzarino was in net for the 4-1 win over Colby on Friday night.

"A little bit," said Ruschil, when asked if he was nervous. "A lot of emotion, it's a big moment, my first college start. It was just surreal."

It did not take Ruschil long to shake the butterflies. Nineteen seconds into the game, Bowdoin left wing Bradley Ingersoll took a shot and the Eph goalie made the save.

"Honestly, that first shot was a little tough," the goalie said. "It kind of took a weird bounce. Goalies always say, once you get that first shot down, you get settled into the game."

Williams went ahead for keeps at 6:26 of the first period. The play started when defenseman Myles Cunningham (1 goal, 2 assists) fed the puck from the point to Nick VanBelle on the right side. VanBelle sent a pass across the crease to Niko Karamanis, who one-timed the puck past Alex Zafonte for the goal. It was the first of two tallies for the sophomore right wing from Courtenay, B.C., Canada.

The Ephs made it 2-0 on Will Somers' goal. Cunningham again started the play, and Tyler Cooligan fed his linemate, who skated out from behind the net into the slot, and wristed a shot past Zafonte.

It was a pretty good day for Cunningham. The defenseman scored the first of two power-play goals in the third period, both coming on a five-minute major penalty against Bowdoin's Joe Alexander.

"I wouldn't be able to do it without the boys in the room," Cunningham said of his three-point day. "The boys were ready to go today. It was a quick turnaround, but as you can see, we did very well."

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Bowdoin's Jimmy Duffy got the Polar Bears' only goal, scoring on the power play at 11:03 of the second period. It was one of 20 shots sent to the net, and Ruschil stopped 19 of them.

It's the third consecutive year that Williams opened the season with wins over Colby and Bowdoin, and the second time the Ephs did it at Lansing Chapman.

"We knew we had a pretty good team, but we didn't know. We practiced hard. The guys did some great things, but you don't until you step on the ice," Kangas said. "There are a lot of new faces, a lot of new guys in key situations. I thought the kids showed a lot of resiliency both days. Obviously both goalies played well. Coz played great yesterday and Evan played great today. That's something they're excited about, but I know the guys are really excited about too."

Williams will play two more conference games next weekend, at Connecticut College and Tufts.

"It's nice to get the wins at home," Kangas said, "enjoy it now, and get ready for next week."

———

Bowdoin     0     1     0     —     1

Williams     2     1     2     —     5

First Period

W — Karamanis (VanBelle, Cunningham), 6:26 (PP). W — Somers (Cooligan, Cunningham), 15:00.

Second Period

B — Duffy (Washco, Geary), 11:03. W — Glover (Woofenden), 18:11.

Third Period

W — Cunningham (McCool, VanBelle), 5:33 (PP). W — Karamanis (McCool, Somers), 6:44.

Shots — Bowdoin     10-20-11 41. Williams: 11-11-8 30.

Saves — B: Zafonte 36. W: Ruschil 40.

Williams     2     1     2     —     5

First Period

W — Karamanis (VanBelle, Cunningham), 6:26 (PP). W — Somers (Cooligan, Cunningham), 15:00.

Second Period

B — Duffy (Washco, Geary), 11:03. W — Glover (Woofenden), 18:11.

Third Period

W — Cunningham (McCool, VanBelle), 5:33 (PP). W — Karamanis (McCool, Somers), 6:44.

Shots — Bowdoin     10-20-11 41. Williams: 11-11-8 30.

Saves — B: Zafonte 36. W: Ruschil 40.

First Period

W — Karamanis (VanBelle, Cunningham), 6:26 (PP). W — Somers (Cooligan, Cunningham), 15:00.

Second Period

B — Duffy (Washco, Geary), 11:03. W — Glover (Woofenden), 18:11.

Third Period

W — Cunningham (McCool, VanBelle), 5:33 (PP). W — Karamanis (McCool, Somers), 6:44.

Shots — Bowdoin     10-20-11 41. Williams: 11-11-8 30.

Saves — B: Zafonte 36. W: Ruschil 40.


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