Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College men's ice hockey team, which trounced Tufts, 4-1, over the weekend in the quarterfinal round of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men's Ice Hockey Championship Tournament, will take the next step toward defending its 2016 league title when they face Williams in the NESCAC Semifinals on Saturday, March 4 at 1 p.m. at Hamilton College's Russell Sage Rink. Top-seeded Hamilton (18-3-4) will face No. 7-seeded Wesleyan (13-8-4) in the other semifinal at 4:15 p.m. and the finals will be Sunday, March 5 at 2 p.m. at the same location. The No. 3-seeded Bantams, coached by Matt Greason (6th Season), are 16-6-3 overall and finished third in the conference with an 11-5-2 league mark. Tickets will cost $5 for adults and $2 for students. Tickets should be available at the gate for the first semifinal at noon on Saturday.
Trinity senior Ethan Holdaway (Glastonbury, Conn.) led the Bantams against Tufts with a pair of goals and an assist on senior forward Sean Orlando's (Ivyland, Pa.) game-winner that broke a 1-1 tie in the first period. Bantam first-year forward Barclay Gammill (New Canaan, Conn.) also scored, Orlando added an assist, junior forward Tyler Whitney (Wakefield, Mass.) chipped in with two helpers, and junior goaltender Alex Morin (St. Hubert, Quebec) made 25 saves on Saturday. Trinity looks to advance to the final for the second straight year and earn its fourth overall title (2003, 2008, 2016). In their four previous NESCAC postseason meetings, Trinity and Williams are both 2-2. The teams last met during the 2013 semifinals with the Bantams posting a 4-2 win. They also split the regular-season series this year. Each team won on its home ice, the Bantams earned a 3-0 victory in Hartford on January 6, while the Ephs posted a 3-1 win in Williamstown on February 3.
No. 4-seeded Williams, coached by Bill Kangas (28th Season) is 14-8-3 after edging No. 5-seeded Amherst, 2-1, in the NESCAC Quarterfinals. The Ephs used a pair of second-period goals to erase a 1-0 deficit to move on to the NESCAC Final Four for the sixth time in seven years. Junior David Italiano (Toronto, Ontario) is tied for the league lead in scoring (31 points) and assists (19), while sophomore Michael Pinios (Laval, Quebec) has logged the most minutes in net for the Ephs and made 22 stops in the win over Amherst. He has tallied nine wins and has a goals against average of 2.64 with a .888 save percentage. Williams has been in the finals four times, the last in 2015, and is aiming to collect its first conference title. Williams is currently ranked No. 8 in the NCAA East Region.