Hartford, Conn. – Junior Mark Knowlton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and sophomore Barclay Gammill (New Canaan, Conn.) each found the back of the net twice to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Amherst College Mammoths in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's ice hockey action this afternoon at Williams Rink in the Koeppel Community Sports Center. Trinity, ranked No. 5 in the nation, improves to 13-3-2 overall and a league-best 10-1-1 against conference foes with its seventh consecutive win. Amherst drops to 7-7-4 overall and 4-4-4 in the NESCAC. Trinity will host league rival Williams next Friday at 7:30 p.m. and the Mammoths take on the Bowdoin Polar Bears.
Trinity came out aggressive early with a 18-to-6 shooting edge in the first period, while Amherst applied high defensive pressure and goalie Connor Girard stood strong in net for the Mammoths. Trinity dominated possession and the offensive zone, while Amherst's first opportunity came at the 7:30 mark when the Bantams had a turnover behind their net but Amherst's Jack Fitzgerald missed a shot from straight-on with Trinity senior goalie Alex Morin (St. Hubert, Quebec) slightly out of position. The Bantams finally broke through the Amherst defense with three minutes remaining in the period. Knowlton stuffed a loose puck across the line during a scrum in front of Amherst's net. The assist was awarded to junior forward Ryan Pfeffer (Canton, Mass.). Two minutes later, Gammill rebounded a shot taken by teammate Nick Fiorentino (Hartsdale, N.Y.) into the back of the net and increased Trinity's lead to 2-0. The Mammoths responded and took advantage of the Bantams' first penalty of the contest to make the score, 2-1. Striking with five seconds remaining in the opening stanza, the Mammoths found the back of the net when Patrick Mooney and Joey Lupo provided assists for Fitzergald who powered a wrist shot over Morin's glove.
Trinity controlled play in the second period and extended their lead with a pair of goals. About halfway through, Girard made a save against Trinity's Nicholas Polsinelli (Galloway, N.J.), but sophomore Adam Anderson (Lino Lakes, Minn.) finished the rebound to make the score 3-1 in favor of the Bantams. Bantam sophomore Andy Chugg (Scottsdale, Ariz.) also assisted on the play. With five minutes remaining in the period, the Bantams capitalized on the power play. Senior Tyler Whitney (Wakefield, Mass.) found Gammill from behind the Mammoth net to set Gammill up for the shot in front that slid by the Mammoth goaltender and increased the home lead to 4-1. First-year James Callahan (Gladstone, N.J.) also assisted on the play.
In the final period, both teams had power-play opportunities, but neither team could convert. Amherst's extra-skater advantage came in the seventh minute, but Trinity's defense held as Morin gathered the puck during a scrum in front of the net and the Bantams blocked several Amherst shot attempts. Three minutes later, Knowlton found himself unmarked in the Mammoth defensive end and scored on a wrist shot to take the lead to 5-1. The Mammoths fired back when Nick Bondra fired the puck that slipped right through Morin's glove with 1:06 on the clock to account for the 5-2 final tally. Morin finished with 26 saves and Girard had 31, as the Bantams finished the contest with a 32-to-28 shooting edge. Trinity was 1-for-3 on power plays and Amherst was 1-for-5 with the extra skater.