Hartford, Conn. - Colby scored three goals late in the third period but that was not enough to come back from a 4-0 deficit, as the Trinity College Bantams held on to win, 4-3, on Friday evening in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's hockey action. The win moves the Bantams to 9-3-1 overall, 5-2 in conference action, while the Colby College Mules fall to 5-6-3 on the year and 3-5-1 in NESCAC play.
Trinity outshot the Mules a staggering 49-26, scoring three of their four goals in the first period. Junior forward Ethan Holdaway (Glastonbury, Conn.) put the Bantams on the board after nine minutes of action when he controlled the puck near center-ice, skated through the Mules defense and fired a wrister into the upper left net past Colby goalie Emerson Verrier (New York, N.Y.). Holdaway found the back of the net again just four minutes later when he fired a slap-shot between the pipes, assisted by freshman defender Michael O'Brien (Cohasset, Mass.). Trinity added to its 2-0 lead just 48 seconds later when freshman forward Ross Mandigo (Stowe, Vt.) ripped a shot past Verrier on a pass from senior forward Joseph Horak (St. Louis, Mo.), sending the game into the first intermission 3-0 in favor of the home team.
The second period went without incident as Trinity entered the final period with a commanding 3-0 lead. Junior Ryan Cole (Anchorage, Alaska) netted his fifth goal of the season less than four minutes into the third period to put Trinity up 4-0. Colby did not go quietly however, as the Mules potted three goals in the last 10 minutes to give Trinity a scare. Geoff Sullivan (Topsfield, Mass.) scored the team's first goal of the game after a scrum in front of Trinity goalie Nathaniel Heilbron (West Vancouver, B.C.) to start the rally. A little over two minutes later, junior Colin O'Reilly (Pelham, N.Y.) scored as he skated behind the net and stuffed a wrap-around in between Heilbron's blocker and the far-side pipe. With 1:18 remaining and still down one goal, Colby pulled Verrier from net to add an extra attacker. The move paid off when Nick O'Connor (Canton, Mass.) put the puck in net to cut the Trinity lead to one with a little over a minute remaining. Trinity sophomore forward Anthony Sabitsky (Sicklerville, N.J.) had a shot to seal the win but fired it just right as the puck hit the pipe and bounced away. Colby sent a flurry of shots towards goal with less than 15 seconds left, but Heilbron held strong as the Bantams held on for the 4-3 victory.
Verrier finished the evening with 45 saves while Heilbron managed 23 of his own. Holdaway's two goals increase his season total to eight, a team-high, which is also good for a tie for second in the NESCAC. Trinity returns to the ice tomorrow, January 16, when they play hosts to the Bowdoin Polar Bears. Game time is set for 4 p.m.