Hartford, Conn. - Senior forward Brandon Cole (Anchorage, Ak.) scooped up a loose puck and pushed it into the back of the net amidst chaos in front of the goal to lift the Trinity College Bantams past Amherst College, 4-3, in Saturday evening New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's hockey action in Hartford. Cole's game-winner, coming with less than seven minutes to play, moves the Bantams to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in conference play while Amherst falls to 3-2-1 on the year and 0-2-1 in league action.
In a game that featured 15 penalties by both teams combined, Trinity's attack kept pressure on the Amherst defense all night as the Bantams outshot the Purple & White, 41-18. Amherst goalie Connor Girard (Bloomington, Minn.) finished the day with 37 saves while his counterpart, Trinity junior netminder Alex Morin (St. Hubert, Quebec), tallied 15 saves.
Amherst struck first less than two minutes into the game when Joey Lupo (St. Louis, Mo.) sent a long pass from Amherst's defensive zone to Austin Ho (Chino Hills, Calif.) which caught the Bantam defense off guard. Ho found himself one-on-one with Morin and flicked a wrist shot which beat Morin to the back of the net to put the visitors up 1-0 early. Trinity nearly found an equalizer a few minutes later when senior captain Sean Orlando (Ivyland, Pa.) sent a pass in front of the net to classmate Ethan Holdaway (Glastonbury, Conn.), but Holdaway's shot missed wide left to no avail. Trinity finally knotted the game when Anthony Sabitsky (Sicklerville, N.J.) potted his fourth goal of the season past Girard at the 7:12 mark.
Trinity wasted no time getting to work in the second period as junior Tyler Whitney (Wakefield, Mass.) gave the Bantams a 2-1 lead just 50 seconds into the frame. Trinity was later whistled for a tripping penalty which Amherst took advantage of when Patrick Daly (Hamilton, Mass.) found himself one-on-one with Morin after a nifty pass from Phil Johansson (Saint-Zotique, Quebec) and flicked a wrist shot into the top shelf to tie things at 2-2. Not to be outdone, rookie Charlie Zuccarini (Shelton, Conn.) slipped the puck behind Girard into net to reclaim the lead for the Bantams with just over seven minutes to play in the second after receiving a pass from senior Anthony Sabitsky (Sicklerville, N.J.) off the feed from first-year Liam Feeney (Foxboro, Mass.) at the point.
Amherst forward Thomas Lindstrom (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) found open space in front of Trinity's net 3:43 into the final period and beat Morin just inside the near-side post over Morin's blocker to tie things back up at 3-3. The Purple & White nearly took the lead a few minutes later when David White (Fairfield, Conn.) had a free skate towards net after a Trinity defender fell, however Morin got his glove on the shot to keep the score tied. After a pair of Amherst penalties that the Bantams failed to convert to goals, Cole gave Trinity the lead with his third goal of the season. Holdaway skated behind Amherst's net and dumped a pass to Orlando in front of the net in a crowd of players, but Orlando couldn't get a clean shot off. The puck waffled towards Girard as he tried to secure it in traffic, but it snuck through to the back side post where Cole was there, wide open, to re-direct it across the goal line and send Trinity home the victors.
Trinity returns to action next weekend when they travel to up-state New York for games at Hobart on Friday and at Elmira on Saturday.