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Trinity Men's Ice Hockey Manages Tie At Amherst On Late Grande Goal

Dylan Healey '21 assisted on the game-tying goal late in regulation
Dylan Healey '21 assisted on the game-tying goal late in regulation

Amherst, Mass. – Sophomore defenseman Michael Grande (West Chester, Pa.) scored the game-tying goal with 2:17 left in regulation, as the visiting Trinity College Bantams salvaged a 1-1 tie against the Amherst College Mammoths in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's ice hockey action this afternoon at Orr Rink.  Trinity, ranked No. 7 in the nation, moves to 10-3-5 overall and 6-2-4 in the NESCAC while extending its unbeaten streak to seven games (4-0-3) but has three draws in its last four contests.  Amherst is now 8-6-3 overall and 5-4-3 in league play.  Trinity visits league rival Williams, ranked No. 9 nationally, on Friday, February 1 at 7 p.m. in its next game, while the Mammoths play at Bowdoin the same day at the same time.

Trinity nearly got on the board in the opening period five minutes into the matchup, when Grande hit sophomore forward Eric Benshadle (Buffalo, N.Y.) with a great pass at the offensive blue line to earn a path to net but Benshadle's wrister from the top of the right circle was countered with a kick stop by Mammoth junior goalie Giancarlo Ventre.  Capitalizing on the Bantams' first penalty of the contest at the 7:32 mark, Nick Bondra scored to give the home team a 1-0 edge. Working the puck around the zone, Jack Fitzgerald's slapper on target was met with a shoulder save by Trinity junior netminder Tedy Loughborough (Wellesley, Mass.), but the rebound deflected off of Bondra and down to his stick for the put-back score.

An energetic, back-and-forth second period featured several quality scoring chances by the two squads, however impressive goalkeeping was on display at both ends of the ice to keep the stanza scoreless.  Two Amherst shots rang off the pipe in the middle frame, while Bantam senior Mark Knowlton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) nearly converted on a shot from the right hash on a 2-v-1, but the attempt ricocheted off Ventre's glove with 8:55 on the clock. Bantam sophomore forward Nicholas Polsinelli (Galloway, N.J.) had another good opportunity for the Bantams three minutes later, as he poked the puck away from an Amherst forward to earn a short-handed breakaway, but a deke to his backhand was stonewalled by Ventre.

Breaking through with 2:17 remaining in regulation while shorthanded, Grande tallied his fifth goal of the year for Trinity to play hero and force overtime. Winning the faceoff on the right dot, Trinity sophomore forward Dylan Healey (Goshen, N.Y.) drew the puck back to senior defensemen Mike O'Brien (Cohasset, Mass.) who dished a D-to-D pass to Grande on the left point for the one-time score.  Amherst owned a 7-1 edge in shots on net in overtime, but Loughborough stood strong for the Bantams to keep the home team from netting the game-winner.  Ventre recorded 26 saves for the Mammoths  and Loughborough racked up 37 stops for the Bantams.  Amherst owned a 38-27 advantage in shots on frame and finished 1-for-8 on the power play, while Trinity went 0-for-4 up a skater.