Middletown, Conn. - Senior forward Barclay Gammill (New Canaan, Conn.) assisted on the game-tying goal with 4:37 left in the third period and scored the game-winner with 1:43 on the clock to lead the visiting Trinity College Bantams to a 6-5 victory over the Wesleyan University Cardinals in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's ice hockey action this evening. Trinity, ranked No. 13 in the nation, improves to 15-3-5 overall and 11-2-4 in the NESCAC while extending its winning streak to five games and its 41-day unbeaten streak to 12 games (9-0-3). No. 12-ranked Wesleyan drops to 15-6-2 overall and 13-2-2 in the league with its second setback in a row. The teams will close the home-and-home series and the regular season tomorrow at Trinity at 4 p.m. Trinity will earn the top seed in the NESCAC Tournament for the second year in a row with a win tomorrow, and the Cardinals will earn the No. 1 seed for the first time with a win or a tie tomorrow.
Trinity trailed, 3-1, late in the second period and, 5-4, with five minutes left in the third frame, but tied the game when Gammill and freshman forward Lucas Michaud (South Portland, Maine) fed junior forward Taggart Corriveau (New Britain, Conn) for his second goal of the game to tie the game at 5-5 at the 15:23 mark. Gammill faked to his right before tucking the puck inside the left post for the clincher with assists provided by junior defensemen Liam Feeney (Foxboro, Mass.) and Nick Fiorentino (Hartsdale, N.Y.). Wesleyan pulled sophomore goalie Tim Sestak late and got off a flurry of shots in the closing seconds, but Trinity rookie netminder Jonah Capriotti (Mount Hope, Ontario) made two saves at the end and fell on the puck just in front of the red line as time expired.
Trinity had opened the scoring 7:02 into the contest when senior Andy Chugg (Mesa, Ariz.) faked right and beat Sestak left. Wesleyan answered at the 14:21 mark to knot the game 1-1. Walker Harris sent a pass from the right into the slot, forcing Capriotti off his line. Capriotti tipped the puck with his stick to get it out of danger, but Stephen O'Connor collected the rebound and found the back of the net. The Cardinals looked to take advantage of a power play beginning at the 16:04 mark, but a strong Bantam defense yielded just a single Wesleyan shot and killed the penalty. The Bantams had a chance to go ahead with nine seconds remaining in the first frame, but sophomore defenseman James Callahan (Gladstone, N.J.) was denied by Sestak on a wrist shot.
Trinity sophomore forward Eric Benshadle (Buffalo, N.Y.) nearly scored off the opening faceoff in the second period, and the Cardinal withstood a five-minute penalty moments later. Cardinal junior blue liner Chad Malinowski intercepted a pass in the defensive zone and scored an unassisted, short-handed goal 6:22 into the middle frame. Capriotti was up to the task on an almost-identical play by Wesleyan freshman defenseman Matt Zandi later in the five-minute stretch, but Malinowski struck again during a 5x3 situation for the home team with a deflection into the net of a pass from Tyler Wyatt to make it 3-1. The Bantams cut their deficit to 3-2 with 46 seconds remaining in the second when Corriveau lifted the puck over Sestak's blocker side with a backhand after a pass ahead by Trinity senior captain Ryan Pfeffer (Canton, Mass.).
Trinity tallied the equalizer just 1:13 into the third period when sophomore forward Nick Polsinelli (Galloway, N.J.) one-timed in a rebound of a Pfeffer shot, The Bantams took their first lead at 4-3 at the 4:07 mark when Pfeffer tucked the puck inside the left post from the doorstep. Wesleyan responded with 6:34 expired, knotting the game at 4-4 on a blast by Spencer Fox from the right faceoff circle. The Cardinals took their last lead at 5-4 lead at the 14:27 mark when Walker Harris connected with a pass from Vincent Lima in the slot and found the back of the net.Pfeffer led the Bantam offense with three points on a goal and two assists, while Barclay, Chugg, and Polsinelli each had a goal and an assist, and sophomore forward Dylan Healey (Goshen, N.Y.) notched a pair of helpers. Harris had a goal and two assists and Wyatt had two assists for Wesleyan. Capriotti finished with 19 saves and Sestak had 32 stops. The teams combined for 23 penalty minutes but scored just once on five power plays apiece.