Thursday, June 20, 2019

Trinity Ice Hockey teams gear up for NESCAC championships

SAM LAMSON ’16 CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Trinity Men’s Ice Hockey team took one step forward and two steps back this weekend. After beating the tough Williams team, Trinity lost to Middlebury in a one-goal heartbreaker. The Trinity team was riding a four game win streak into the weekend. Williams, No. 2 in the NESCAC at the time, fell to the Bantams, 3-1. After the big win, the Bantams let the win get to their heads as Middlebury, then ranked No. 4 in the conference, won 3-2 and spoiled the five game winning streak.

The Trinity men had much to prove on Friday, playing at Williams against the No. 2 ranked team in the NESCAC. The No. 3 ranked Trinity team had the NESCAC tournament seeding at stake. Trinity rose to the challenge by beating Williams 3-1.  Goalie Ben Coulthard ’14 played a great game with 35 saves. Forward Sam Kane ’15 and forward Charlie Mullan ’13 opened up scoring in the first period with back-to-back goals, which were only 40 seconds apart. Forward Chris Menard ‘13 put the game out of reach with a third period goal. The game put Trinity ahead of Williams in the series between the two schools (Trinity tied the Williams squad at home on Jan. 4). Having beaten the No. 2 team in the ‘CAC the Trinity Hockey team made another step forward to a NESCAC Championship.

Trinity then came off the huge win to play a tough Middlebury team at Middlebury. Trinity underestimated the No. 4 ranked Middlebury team. The Bantams witnessed a complete role reversal from Friday’s game. The underdog Middlebury team shocked the Bantams in a 3-2 heartbreaker. Middlebury outshot Trinity 38-14 in the game. Trinity couldn’t even capitalize on one of the team’s five power play opportunities. The Trinity team also committed 12 penalties in the game for a total of 43 minutes.  Despite the team’s lack of discipline, the team had a chance to win this game. The Bantams went into the third period only down a goal. Trinity managed to tie the game at 2-2 with 7 minutes in the game off of a shorthanded goal from forward Time Shea ’15 (assisted by Charlie Mullan ’14 and Michael Flynn ’15); however, less then two minutes later, Middlebury’s Evan Neugold scored the game-winner with roughly six minutes on the clock.

Trinity took a hit in the NESCAC rankings after the loss, falling to No. 4 in the conference with a record of 11-5-3 overall and 8-3-3 in conference. Trinity currently sits behind Bowdoin, Middlebury, and Williams. The Trinity men will look to bounce back on Friday against No. 7 ranked Colby. Hopefully, the team will then gain some momentum heading into Saturday’s game against Bowdoin. With team wins against Colby, Bowdoin, and Wesleyan, the Trinity Men’s Hockey team could position themselves well for a good NESCAC Tournament.  Benjamin Coulthard currently leads the ‘CAC in save-percentage at (0.942), but sits at eighth in wins. The Trinity offense will need to provide some scoring if the team wants to finish strong and bring home a NESCAC Hockey Title (the Trinity men do not have a single player in within the top 28 scorers in the NESCAC).

The Trinity women had a better weekend then the men. The women won two games against a tough Bowdoin team in front of a home crowd. Bowdoin came into the weekend ranked No. 1 in the ‘CAC with an overall record of 14-2-2 and a conference record of 8-1-1. The Trinity women would spoil Bowdoin’s trip to Hartford, beating Bowdoin twice (2-1 on Friday, and 3-1 on Saturday).

The Trinity women set the tone for the weekend beating Bowdoin in the first of the team’s two matchups this weekend. Bowdoin came out firing in the first, outshooting Trinity 17-6. Trinity goal tender Alexa Pujol ’14 held her own in the goal, keeping the first period scoreless. Madelein Lame from Bowdoin opened up scoring in the Second. Forward Abby Ostrom ’15 responded with an unassisted goal only six minutes later. Trinity’s Shannon Farrell ’16 would score the game-winner in the third period on an unassisted power-play goal with less then 3 minutes to play. Alexa Pujol had 34 saves in the win.

The Trinity women took their momentum from the first game against Bowdoin into last night’s game against Bowdoin. Sarah Duncan ‘14 scored midway through the first. After a scoreless second, Bowdoin tied the game halfway through the third period. The Trinity women responded by finishing off Bowdoin with goals from Abby Ostrom ’15 and Emma Tani ’16 (EN goal). Alex Pujol ‘14 continued to impress people tallying up 38 saves in the Bantam’s win. The Trinity women put Bowdoin back to second in the conference, while improving to fourth in the conference.

The Trinity women will now look forward to two games against Amherst next weekend. Both games will be at home. The Trinity women currently sit at fourth in the conference with a record of 6-3-3 in conference and 11-5-4 overall. The Amherst women are 10-7-1 overall, 8-3-1 in conference, and are now tied with Bowdoin at second in the NESCAC. Trinity will need to take the momentum from the past weekend’s games into this weekend’s games. Pujol will look to continue her outstanding junior season. Pujol leads the NESCAC in overall save percentage (0.956) and sits at third in goals against average (1.30 GAA, on 20 GA). The Trinity women will need to increase their offensive output if they want to make a run for the NESCAC Championship (Lucy Robinson ranked 12th in the ‘CAC in scoring). 

The NESCAC Championships for the women will begin on Saturday, Feb. 23rd, and the pairings for the first round matchups will be released a week earlier, Feb. 16.

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