Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College men's hockey team scored three times in the second period and never looked back in a 4-1 victory over the Bowdoin College Polar Bears on Saturday afternoon in a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) battle at the Koeppel Center in Hartford. The No. 6-ranked Bantams improve to 9-3-2 overall and 6-1-1 in conference play while the Polar Bears fall to 4-11-0 on the year and 2-8-0 in league action.
Both teams skated for over ten minutes in the first period without incident before the Bantams thought they had taken the lead with eight minutes left to play. First-year James Callahan (Gladstone, N.J.) looked like he stuffed a loose puck across the crease line during a scrum in front of Bowdoin's net, but the puck took a funny bounce off the back-side post before Bowdoin's defense flipped the puck down ice and out of harm's way. In an opening period without any penalties, neither side could get on the board however the Bantams dominated possession, winning the shot battle, 16-8.
The Bantams poured it on in the second period, opening up a 3-0 lead as the two teams entered the second intermission. Trinity's first goal of the afternoon came off the stick of junior Ryan Pfeffer (Canton, Mass.), his third of the season, after he beat Bowdoin senior goalie Peter Cronin (Norwell, Mass.) to the back of the net via an assist from classmate Charlie Zuccarini (Shelton, Conn.). Just 51 seconds later, senior captain Anthony Sabitsky (Sicklerville, N.J.) potted his seventh goal of the season and 97th career point to double up the Bantam lead. Sophomore defenseman Nicholas Fiorentino (Hartsdale, N.Y.) made it a 3-0 game in Trinity's favor after he worked a beautiful give-and-go with classmate Liam Feeney (Foxboro, Mass.) and buried the puck into goal with 3:12 remaining in the second frame.
Bowdoin nearly got on the board in the opening two minutes of the third period when Caleb Perez (Loudonville, N.Y.) fired a slap-shot from point blank range, but Morin, who finished the day with 21 saves, made a good play to slide in front of the attempt and turn the puck aside. The Polar Bears ended the shutout with 7:33 remaining in the game when Ronnie Lestan (Walpole, Mass.) gathered a rebound off of his own shot and sent a wrister past Morin, who initially made back-to-back saves on consecutive tries by Lestan. Things got chippy in the final minutes of play with Bowdoin earning a 4-on-3 power play opportunity but The Bantams killed the penalties without harm. First-year Eric Benshadle (Getzville, N.Y.) iced the game with 3:20 remaining when senior captain Connor Hegarty (Wakefield, Mass.) dished the puck to him on a 2-on-1 and fired the puck past Cronin for the 4-1 lead which would stand as the final.