Rickards nets hat trick in NESCAC Quarterfinal against Ephs

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Bitter temperatures set the stage for a postseason rematch between Colby and 8th ranked Williams College. The teams played each other earlier in the season, with Williams taking an 11-6 victory, but the intensity of the NESCAC quarterfinals led to a closely matched, competitive contest 

The Ephs started quickly, taking a 2-0 lead before Jack Rickards scored the Mules' first goal with 5:40 left in the first quarter. However, Williams was able to keep the ball away from Colby's attack, winning four of five first-quarter face-offs, and scored again by the end of the quarter to take a 3-1 lead. The Ephs extended their advantage less than a minute into the second quarter, but Riley Bergstrom quickly answered, burying a feed from Colton Michel. After two more Williams goals, Colby scored two of the last three goals in the half to regain momentum. Lane Kadish found the back of the net off a pass from Michel before Will Dodge finished the quarter with an unassisted goal to bring the Mules back within three.

Snow began fall haphazardly as the third quarter began. Williams started strong, taking back the momentum with the frame's first three goals and holding Colby scoreless until Rickards netted his second goal of the game with 2:19 remaining. The goal sparked a fourth quarter comeback by the Mules, who, down five goals after three quarters, refused to go quietly. Colton Michel buried a feed from Lane Kadish before CJ Hassan found the back of the net on an assist from Riley Bergstrom. After another Williams goal, Rickards completed a hat trick when he finished on a pass from Hassan, then Lane Kadish brought the Mules to within two goals with 1:26 left to play. The flurry of fourth quarter offense was not enough for the Mules, however, and after a final Williams goal with 50 seconds remaining, Colby fell 12-9. Goalie C.J. Layton finished with 16 saves and two ground balls, and Joe Paolatto won 14-25 faceoffs and secured seven ground balls at center. Will Dodge also added 4 ground balls and a caused turnover to his goal.

The game concludes the Mules season, one of Colby's most successful in recent history.