Colby Cretella scored 1:00 into overtime giving sixth-ranked Williams (16-4-1, 12-2-1) a 5-4 victory over Middlebury on Thursday night in Lansing Chapman Rink. The Ephs trailed 3-1 in the third before taking a 4-3 lead, only to have Middlebury's Zach Weier tie the game up on a power-play goal with 3:43 remaining to force the extra session. The Panthers (6-9-6, 5-4-6) and Ephs will meet again on Friday night, this time with a 7:00 p.m. face-off in Kenyon Arena.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead a little more than halfway through the first period. At 10:40, Zach Haggerty received a nice pass at the blue line, working his way past three Ephs in the neutral zone to have a breakaway on Williams' goalie Michael Pinios. Haggerty beat Pinios on a backhander, scoring his fifth goal of the season.
At 16:24 of the first, the Ephs responded and tied the game at 1-1. Daniel Doherty fired a high wrister that beat Middlebury netminder Liam Moorfield-Yee.
The Panthers recaptured the lead at 6:09 of the second period. On a three-on-two opportunity, Haggerty picked up a loose puck in the crease and slid one past Pinios after a shot from Matt Doherty. The score was Haggerty's second of the game with Doherty and Jake Charles each earning their second respective assists.
The lead grew to 3-1 with 1:30 left in the second period with a power play goal from Ronald Fishman, his third tally of the season.
Trailing 3-1 in the third, the Ephs rattled off three-straight goals and took a 4-3 lead. George Hunkele scored at the 4:51 mark, followed by a goal from Sam Gray to tie the game at 8:24. At 13:53 of the third period, the Ephs took the lead when Frankie Mork scored his first of the year.
With little momentum on their side, the Panthers battled back and tied the game at 4-4 with 3:43 remaining on the power play. Weier scored the first of his career with a shot from the point.
Williams ended the game with a 50-30 advantage in shots as Pinios finished with 26 saves. Moorfield-Yee made a career-best 45 stops for Middlebury.