Men's Hockey Weekly Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

Men's Hockey Weekly Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

This Week: The Trinity College men's hockey team defeated the Hamilton Continentals, 3-2 in overtime, in an electric New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) on Sunday to capture its second-straight conference crown and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. The Bantams drew Plattsburgh State in the first round of the tournament, who they will host on Saturday at the Koeppel Center.

Match-up:
Trinity (18-6-3) v. Plattsburgh State (17-9-1)
Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Koeppel Center
Hartford, Connecticut

Plattsburgh State Series History: Trinity is 1-2 all-time against the Cardinals dating back to the 2005-06 season.

Recent History Versus the Cardinals: Trinity knocked off Plattsburgh State, 5-1, in the 2014-15 season in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals en route to the National Championship.

Scouting Plattsburgh: Plattsburgh enters the NCAA Tournament by way of automatic bid thanks to winning the SUNYAC Tournament Championship. The Cardinals upset No. 2-ranked Oswego State, 3-2, in the finals and are 11-3-1 since January 1st. Plattsburgh comes into the tournament averaging 3.48 goals per game but also yielding 3.24 scores to its opponents.

Game Notes:

- Trinity's NESCAC Championship is its second in a row after hoisting the conference trophy last season on its home ice in Hartford. The victory makes it three-straight seasons winning any sort of Championship, beginning with the National Championship in the 2014-15 season.

- Trinity ranks fourth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 1.85 goals per game. 

- Senior forward Ryan Cole was named NESCAC Player of the Week thanks to a heroic weekend for the Bantams. Cole netted the first goal of the game for Trinity against Williams, igniting a four-goal run, and scored the game-winner in overtime against the Continentals to clinch the conference title. Cole currently leads the country with six game-winning goals this season.

- Senior captain Sean Orlando and junior forward Tyler Whitney are first and second in the league, respectively, in scoring as Orlando leads the NESCAC with 1.22 points per game while Whitney is second with 1.19. Junior forward Anthony Sabitsky checks in just behind them in a tie for third-place (1.15 ppg) while Cole is fifth with 1.11 points per contest. 

- Sabitsky leads the conference in goals (16, T36th in country) while Orlando is tied for second with 15 (T43rd in country). Whitney leads the league with 20 assists and is also first in power play points while Orlando is tied for second in power play scoring.

- Junior goaltender Alex Morin is third in the league in goals allowed average (1.80) and second in winning percentage (.700). Morin came up clutch this weekend in multiple spots, earning all three wins en route to the championship.

- Trinity is ranked No. 8 and Plattsburgh State is No. 12 in the D3Hockey.com National Poll, and the Bantams are tied for No. 9 and the Cardinals are No. 12 in the United States College Hockey Online.com Division III National Poll.