Men’s hockey defeats Amherst for NESCAC title

3 min read

The Trinity College Men’s Hockey team had a phenomenal weekend, winning Saturday against Tufts 5-3 in the semifinals of the NESCAC championship and again in the championship Sunday versus Amherst 5-1. It is the first time the team has won the NESCAC Championship since their 2008 outing.
Against Tufts, forward Tyler Whitney ’18 scored on a power play with .9 seconds left in the first period with assists from forward Michael Hawkrigg ’16 and fellow sophomore Anthony Sabitsky ’18. Hawkrigg assisted again as forward Ryan Cole ’17 scored an easy goal early in the second period. It was clear by the third period that Trinity was the superior team in terms of skill, but Tufts had the advantage of brute force. The Jumbos used this force to their advantage when they staged a late comeback by scoring three times in a row within the final minutes of the game. Fortunately, the Bants did not relent; senior captain Elie Vered ’16 scored early in the third and forward Brandon Cole ’17 scored on another power play. Junior forward Sean Orlando ’17 netted one last empty net goal as time expired, moving the Bantams into the Finals.
Trinity carried this momentum over to Sunday as Amherst College sought to defeat the defending champions. However, the Bantams made it clear in the first period that they were not going to be knocked out by the number six ranked team. Hawkrigg put Trinity on the board with assists from Orlando and forward Mark Knowlton ’19, followed closely by a goal from Vered off a great pass by Bryce Eviston ’19. Trinity again scored easily on a five on three goal from Whitney with assists from Hawkrigg and Sabitsky. Like Tufts, Amherst made up for their lagging skill with physical aggression, putting Trinity in their crosshairs. Early in the first, defender Michael Menter ’18 went down after a hard hit and immediately skated off, clutching his wrist (which appeared to have been cut). A plethora of Bantams were also slow to get up after hard checks or went immediately down the tunnel. This aggression from Amherst resulted in ten penalties including a major game misconduct for Amherst. Trinity didn’t let this get to them, as Sabitsky and Hawkrigg both scored on power plays in the third, making it 5-0 until the final minute. Amherst was getting desperate by that point, flinging the puck whenever they could at the net, a tactic that finally got them on the board. But it was far too little far too late as Trinity won the NESCAC Championship for the first time since 2008The Bants outshot Amherst 40-23 and went 2-5 on power plays. Sophomore goalie Alex Morin ’18 had 47 saves over the weekend as Hawkrigg racked up two goals and an assist. This is the Bantams third NESCAC title as they continue on against UMass Boston Mar. 12.

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