Middlebury grabbed an early 1-0 lead, but Williams scored five-straight goals, as the Ephs handed the Panthers (8-11-3, 6-7-3) a 5-3 setback Saturday in Kenyon Arena. Middlebury is home again on Friday hosting Amherst, while the Ephs (15-6-1, 12-4-0) entertain Hamilton the same day with both contests starting at 7:00 p.m.
The hosts had a pair of power plays in the opening 10 minutes, but were unable to solve Williams goalie Cosimo Lazzarino. The Ephs had a good chance just past the midway mark when Max Fuld circled the net with his rising shot that hit Panther netminder Brian Ketchabaw in the shoulder. Middlebury cashed in on its third man-advantage of the period, when Alex Heinritz’s shot from the left circle hit off a defenseman’s skate and went into the net. That tally came with 4:46 on the clock as the hosts went into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.
The visitors had a territorial edge in the second frame, thanks in part to three power plays. The Ephs tied the game 4:21 into the period, when Nick Van Belle tucked in a puck that bounced off teammate Bobby Beniers in front of the net for a power-play goal. With 8:21 on the clock, Mac Carso wired a shot into the upper corner of the net from the right circle on a rush as the visitors took the lead. Tyler Scott increased the advantage to 3-1, as he slipped a shot through Ketchabaw from the left wing with the teams skating four players aside.
Williams increased its lead to 4-1 just 51 seconds into the final period, as Niko Karamanis scored from the right side after a good keep in at the point by Jack McCool. McCool made it 5-1 with a high shot from the right circle with 12:51 on the clock.
Middlebury pushed back, taking advantage of a power play with 5:05 remaining. Owen Powers set up Mitchell Allen for a redirection in front of the net for his sixth marker of the season. The Panthers continued to press and were rewarded with another score with 2:15 on the clock with goalie Adam Wisco on the bench in favor of an extra skater. Powers buried a shot from the slot off a feed from Antoine Belisle in the corner to make it a 5-3 final.
Ketchabaw finished with 14 saves in 40:51 of game time, while Wisco had seven saves in just under a period. Lazzarino had 25 stops for the Ephs.
Middlebury had a narrow 28-26 edge in shots and each team converted once on the power play. Williams had three chances and the Panthers had six opportunities.