SAMANTHA BEATI ’17
It was an exciting Saturday night to be a Bantam, a sentiment that resonated across campus when the Men’s Hockey Team won their first ever National Championship. Trinity College Athletic Director Michael Renwick echoed the excitement after the game saying that, “the historic accomplishment this past weekend could not embody more fully what it means to be a Bantam.” After finishing the season as the leader of the NESCAC, they gained an at-large bid in the NCAA Men’s Hockey Division III Tournament and were able to advance to their first ever championship game. After missing a bid in the 2014 Tournament, the Bantams were fired up and ready to play aggressively throughout the tournament to claim the win. The Championship game was held at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Bantams played the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point team, who finished the season with a record of 23-7-1.
The entire game was aggressive throughout, with both teams holding onto the desire to win. The first goal of the game came on a power play and was by Bantam Sean Orlando ’17 who notched his 15th goal of the season at 3:38. Later on, in the first period, Trinity became a little too excited and were penalized for having too many men on the ice, resulting in a power play for Stevens-Point. This in turn, allowed Stevens-Point to gain some momentum and score their first goal of the game by Kyle Brodie which brought a 1-1 tie going into the first intermission of the game.
The excitement continued throughout the second period when the Bantams were able to gain back some momentum and Michael Hawkrigg ’16 was able to score his 16th goal of the season, resulting in a 2-1 socreline and Trinity lead at 1:52. The rest of the second period was back and forth, with many shots by both teams, but none of them resulted in any goals. The third period started with equal momentum, but at 9:10 Nick D’Avolio from Stevens-Point was able to score, tying the game at 2-2. This was a great goal by Stevens-Point who struggled throught the entire game to convert their shots to actual goals. Trinity was fired up by the goal by Stevens-Point and came back aggressively with the desire to win. It was at 6:08 in the third period when Ethan Holdaway ’17 fired the puck from within the right circle, a goal which became the eventual game winner, breaking the tie. At the end of the third period Stevens-Point made a few shots on net, but the NCAA Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player and Trinity goalie, Nathaniel Heilbron ’16, was able to save them. This caused Stevens-Point to pull their goalie in order to create some excitement for the last few minutes of the game. This did not give them the momentum that they wanted and caused Bantams Conor Coveney ’15 and Greg Rooney ’15 to score empty net goals to seal the win even further and reach their first ever National Championship win. Orlando, Hawkrigg and Captain Mike Flynn ’15 were also honored for their play in the tournament.
The win was earned from the hard work and perseverance. Athletic Director, Michael Renwick, said while describing the team, that the Bantams were, “a great group of young men set out to accomplish a goal together and worked selflessly to do just that. This was a championship for the ages for which the young men on this team will never forget, and nor will the great Trinity community.” The championship concluded a fantastic season by the Men’s Hockey team who finished with a record of 25-3-1, which is a new school record. Although many fans were not able to travel to Minnesota, the Trinity College community was with them in spirit. This is certainly a victory that Trinity will always remember.Congratulations to the Trinity College Men’s Hockey Team on a great win as well as an amazing season.