Cat MacLennan ’20
Trinity men’s hockey played two fiercely competitive games this weekend to win the NESCAC championship and to advance to the NCAA tournament next weekend. The Koeppel center was packed with eclectic fans cheering on the Bantams. On Saturday, the Bantams fought hard against the Hamilton College Continentals. The Bantams set the pace 14 seconds into the first period with senior Mark Knowlton firing a wrist shot into the back of the net. The crowd grew rowdy through the game as the Bantams worked to control the rest of the game.
Hamilton had two opportunities to tie the game in the first period, but junior goaltender Tedy Loughborough held his ground and kept the Bantams in the lead, shutting down both of the attempted shots. Early in the second period, the Continentals were able to capitalize on a man up situation after a penalty against the Bantams and tied the game. It was now 1-1, but the Trinity fans and players didn’t let up, they defended their home turf.
Both teams scrambled to put another one in the net but the regulation game ended in a tie. Both teams had many attempts at the game winning goal in overtime and after many attempts, senior Ryan Pfeffer took it into his hands to bring home the win, sending the puck past the goal line. The crowd erupted in excitement as the team celebrated on the ice. The glass rumbled with fans and loud screams, celebrating the advancement to the NESCAC finals the next day. The next day, the Bantams came in ready to beat the Amherst College Mammoths and even more ready to take home another NESCAC championship right here in Hartford. With another packed rink, Trinity fans helped keep the energy up for the Bantams during this exciting match-up. The first period was hard fought, but both teams struggled to find the back of the net and the game remained scoreless as they went into the second period.
However, Junior Nick Fiorentino capitalized on a fast break and flicked the puck past the Amherst goalie, making the game 1-0 in the second period and putting the Bantams on the board. Trinity fans celebrated and added even more elctricity to the rink. The third period was filled with even more exciting action. Amherst managed to tie the game shortly after the beginning of the third period, but the Bantams took back the lead just seconds later. Freshman Nicholas Polsinelli scored for the Bantams after receiving an assist from junior Dylan Healy and senior captain Ryan Pfeffer. Once again, Koeppel erupted in applause. The Mammoths found another opportunity to tie the game late in the second period. Both teams stood at a stalemate at 2-2 and it was time for the Bantams to fire up the intensity. As the game went into overtime, both teams had a flurry of shots on net, but both goalies defended their nets in survival-esque fashion.
The overtime tension built all the way through to the end of the period, with both teams coming very close to capturing a championship title. But finally, with ten seconds left to go in overtime, Trinity controlled the puck in the opposing zone, however it seemed like a second overtime was in order. But in a flash, freshman Lucas Michaud swiped the puck from the corner and dished it to junior Taggert Corriveau as the clock wound down to just 1.4 seconds. By the time the puck reached Corriveau, time was running out, but his miracuous one-timer lodged in the back of the net with just 0.1 seconds left on the clock. The rink erupted with cheers as the team stormed the ice to celebrate their triumphant NESCAC championship title. A “0.1 miracle,” Trinity hosts University of New England next weekend here in Hartford. Come cheer on your Bantams next weekend!