Justin Williams hat-trick helped the Panthers get a key conference victory over Embry-Riddle on Wednesday. Lou Marinacci - Pictures of Motion
The Florida Tech Panthers started with a seven-goal run on Wednesday, en route a to a 12-5 win over Embry-Riddle in a Sunshine State Conference victory in Daytona Beach.

“Picking up a road win in conference is always big,” said Panthers head coach Mark Penn, via email. Right now the standings are tight and we are just focused on winning one game at a time, I hope that we make the tournament.”

Justin Williams scored a hat-trick for the Panthers while adding an assist. Brad Schillinger had two goals, as did Reid Chaconas. Five Panthers had one goal each.

Embry-Riddle (8-7, 0-5 SSC) got five goals from five different scorers but were shutout in the first half.

Our defense played great tonight. They stepped up big and held Embry-Riddle scoreless in that first half,” Penn said. As a team, we still have a lot to clean up, but that type of defensive performance really gives the group energy.”

Williams got the energy going with the first goal 2:55 into the game. Goals from Logan Sweeney and Tyler Oblong made it 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. Schillinger scored 3:13 into the second quarter and Chaconas tallied more than six minutes later to make it 5-0. Matt Guttmann and Patrick Stewart scored less than a minute apart, giving the Panthers a 7-0 lead at the halftime break.

Coleman Jacobs got the Eagles on the board four minutes into the third quarter, before Williams scored off a feed from Sweeney, to make it 8-1. Kyle Dalrymple, Michael Forte, and Mark Urso scored in the final minute and a half of the third quarter for ERAU, and closed the gap to 8-4, as the teams entered the fourth quarter.

Chaconas got the Panthers going again, scoring a goal 23 seconds into the final stanza, making it 9-4. Schillinger’s second of the night followed, giving the Panthers a six-goal lead. Mitchell Cody scored the Eagles final goal of the night, making it 10-5, before a goal from Brett Pohlmeyer, and Williams’ hat-trick goal closed the scoring.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Embry-Riddle Box Score

The Panthers road trip continues Saturday, with a game at Saint Leo at 3:00 p.m. Saint Leo lost in the NCAA Division II title game last year, losing to Merrimack College.

“We have a lot of injuries right now. Our depth is being tested,” said Penn. We have a next man up mentality, and the guys that are getting their chance are stepping up. The big test will come on Saturday.”

“We need to win two games to solidify our spot in the dance. Win both and we could host, Penn continued. Win one, and leave out fate in other people’s hands, or lose two and go home. That’s what I love about this conference. Our dreams are still alive. Everything we’ve worked for comes down to the final two games. I like the group I’m going to war with.”

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