Hartford, Conn. - Trinity College sophomore Michael Grande (West Chester, Pa.) fired a wrist shot from the top of the circle that found the back of the net to lift the Bantams to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Colby College Mules on Friday night in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's hockey action at the Koeppel Center. Trinity wins its third in a row to improve to 13-3-5 overall and 9-2-4 in the conference while the Mules fall to 8-9-4 on the year and 5-7-3 in league play. Trinity returns to the ice tomorrow for a home game versus Bowdoin at 4 p.m.
Both teams traded scores in the first period of a game that saw 14 combined penalties and three power play goals. Colby broke the scoreless game just 3:57 into the opening period thanks to a Trinity roughing penalty that gave the Mules a skater advantage. Kienan Scott (Spokane, Wash.) found the back of the net thanks to a screen set in front of Bantam first-year netminder Jonah Capriotti (Mount Hope, Ontario). Thomas Stahlhuth (Webster Groves, Mo.) slid the puck to Scott who fired a shot to the top shelf of the goal which froze Capriotti who failed to see the shot until the last second.
The Bantams answered when sophomore Timothy Weinstein (Norwood, Mass.) scored his second goal of the season off assists from Grande and classmate Eric Benshadle (Buffalo, N.Y.). Weinstein got a pass from Grande and rifled a shot past Colby goalie Andrew Tucci (Toronto, Ontario) and into the back of the net. Tucci had to fight traffic in front of the crease which let Weinstein pick his spot and make good on the equalizer from distance.
Trinity jumped out to a 2-1 lead just 2:13 into the second period off a beautiful re-direct by junior Barclay Gammill (New Canaan, Conn.). Sophomore James Callahan (Gladstone, N.J.) sent a shot towards the far-side post from just inside the blue line. Gammill, with his back turned towards the net, poked his stick out and connected with the puck, re-directing it past the blocker of Tucci and into the back of the net for the go-ahead score.
Another power play opportunity late in the period allowed Colby to tie the game at 2-2 on a goal from Mark Leprine (New Fairfield, Conn.). Leprine beat Capriotti off assists from Nick O'Connor (Canton, Mass.) and Logan Clarke (Saint Lazare, Quebec). After a scoreless third period, the two teams headed to overtime to try and find a winner.
1:08 into the extra session, Colby was whistled for a tripping penalty which gave the Bantams a man-up opportunity which Grande made good on. Gammill dumped the puck into the Colby zone which the Mules tried to clear, however rookie Lucas Michaud (South Portland, Maine) gathered it and passed it to Grande at the point. Grande walked the puck in for a shot before a Mule defender tried to get in the way of it. Grande pulled back a bit before firing a wrister which sailed into the back of the net to lift the Bantams to victory.
Capriotti finished with 25 saves in a strong performance, helping the Bantams kill off five penalties throughout the evening. Tucci tallied 29 stops despite being saddled with the loss.