Middlebury outshot #14 Williams 32-28, but could not get one past Michael Pinios, as the Ephs (14-6-1, 10-4-1) added an empty-netter for a 2-0 victory over the Panthers (8-11-2, 5-8-2) on Friday night. The two teams will battle again on Saturday, this time at Kenyon Arena with a 7:00 p.m. start.
Early on, Pinios made a clutch save when he was drawn out of the net but managed to kick his leg out to block a shot by Jimmy McKee. Williams nearly went up 1-0 late in the period, but a shot hit the left post.
At 17:39 of the second period, a loose puck bounced in front of Ketchabaw. Evan Johnson jumped on it and fired a shot over the shoulder of Ketchabaw, putting the hosts up, 1-0.
Middlebury turned up the pressure in the third period, but could not get the equalizer. Williams sealed the game with 45 seconds remaining as Mike Armstrong found an empty net for the 2-0 final.
Brian Ketchabaw made 26 saves between the pipes for the Panthers, while Pinios earned 32 stops for the shutout.