Hartford, Conn. - Trinity College senior forward Tyler Whitney (Wakefield, Mass.) tallied a pair of assists in a 4-3 victory over the visiting Williams College Ephs to reach 100-career points in a Bantam uniform on Friday night in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's hockey action at the Koeppel Center. Whitney becomes the sixth Trinity player in the last four seasons to reach the milestone, joining classmate and captain Anthony Sabitsky (Sicklerville, N.J.) as the second player to do so this winter. Trinity's victory is its eighth-straight, improving to 14-3-2 overall and 11-1-1 in NESCAC play, while the Ephs fall to 10-9-0 on the year and 6-7-0 in league action.
After a scoreless first period where both teams combined for just 16 shots, the scoring ramped up in the final 40 minutes of action. Trinity junior Mark Knowlton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) put the hosts on the board first at the 5:13 mark in the second period off an assist from classmate Charlie Zuccarini (Shelton, Conn.). The Ephs, however, responded with a goal of their own exactly four minutes later when Roberto Cellini (Montreal, Que.) fed David Italiano (Toronto, Ont.), who beat Trinity senior netminder Alex Morin (St. Hubert, Que.) on the power play for the equalizer. The Bantams were whistled for another penalty just a few minutes later which gave Williams a second-straight advantage. The Ephs made good on their second power play effort of the evening when Colby Cretella (Guilford, Conn.) slapped the puck into the back of the net to put the visitors ahead, 2-1, at the 12:40 mark.
The Bantams responded with a pair of goals before the end of the period to take a 3-2 advantage into the second intermission. The first came thanks to Whitney's first assist of the night, as he slipped the puck from the neutral zone ahead to rookie Dylan Healey (Goshen, N.Y.). Healey skated down ice with sophomore Andy Chugg (Scottsdale, Ariz.) alongside him at the far side, before sliding a pass across the front of Williams goalie Michael Pinios (Laval, Que.) to Chugg who cranked the puck into the top shelf to tie things at 2-2. Rookie forward Eric Benshadle (Getzville, N.Y.) gave Trinity the lead with less than a minute to play in the period with his sixth goal of the season. Benshadle cleaned up a rebound off an initial shot by senior captain Griffyn Martin (Southport, Conn.) that Pinios saved, however was unable to get back into position to stop Benshadle's one-timer off the miss.
After just 42 seconds gone by in the third period, Trinity added its fourth goal to take a 4-2 lead. Off a turnover in the neutral zone, Whitney, Healey and senior captain Connor Hegarty (Wakefield, Mass.) ran the three-man weave beautifully, setting up a one-timer off the stick of Hegarty on a direct assist from Healey. Both sides traded power play opportunities in the first 15 minutes of the third, but were unable to convert either one into scores. Williams made things interesting in the final minute of action, after the Bantams were whistled for a hooking penalty. Already up a skater, the Ephs pulled Pinios from goal to add another extra attacker. Trinity's penalty kill unit held strong playing six-on-four hockey, thanks largely in part to several spectacular saves by Morin in the final 30 seconds of the game. Morin and Trinity's defense were able to clear the puck as time expired to hold on to the 4-3 victory.
The Bantams return to the ice tomorrow at 4 p.m. for a NESCAC matchup against the Panthers of Middlebury College.