Hartford, Conn. – Sophomore forward Tyler Seltenreich (Littleton, Colo.) assisted on one goal and scored the game-winner to lead the visiting University of New England Nor’easters to a 2-1 victory over the Trinity College Bantams in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Tournament this evening at Williams Rink in the Koeppel Community Sports Center. Trinity, ranked No. 6 in the nation, finishes the season with a 19-4-5 record with its first setback since January 4, and sees its winning streak stopped at nine games and its unbeaten streak halted at 16 games (13-0-3). No. 11-ranked New England improves to 21-6-2 with its fourth win in a row, and will face Norwich in the NCAA Quarterfinals in Vermont next Saturday at 7 p.m.
The first period ended scoreless with Trinity holding an 18-to-13 shooting edge. The Bantams killed off the vast majority of a late penalty in the first period after the first break, forcing junior netminder Tedy Loughborough (Wellesley, Mass.) to make just one save in the two minutes. The Nor’easters took a 1-0 lead 6:55 into the second period when junior forward Ryan Bloom (Northville, Mich.) wrapped around the left post after a pass from the right corner by senior forward Brady Fleurent (Biddeford, Maine). Seltenreich buried a one-timer from Bloom and Fleurent with just 15 seconds left in the middle frame to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Trinity earned its lone power play of the game 5:46 into the third period, but sophomore goaltender Ben Churchfield (Newcastle, England) made three saves to help the Nor’easters kill it off. The first Bantam goal was pretty, as junior forward Taggart Corriveau (New Britain, Conn.) passed from close on the right wing to classmate Liam Feeney (Foxboro, Mass.) in front only to have Feeney send it quickly back to Corriveau for the quick shot past Churchfield. Feeney nearly tied it with a rocket from straight-on that sailed just wide with 11 minutes gone, and the Bantams held New England at two goals despite two more penalties in the final eight minutes. The Trinity offense managed just four shots-on-net after its goal, however, and just one with Loughborough pulled in the final 1:25. The Bantams finished with a 44-to-30 shooting advantage, as Churchfield came up big with 43 saves. Loughborough had 28 stops. The teams were 0-for-4 on power plays.
“I thought the UNE goalie played well and we had two or three good opportunities that we just couldn’t capitalize on,” said Trinity Head Coach Matt Greason. “After we got one, I felt like it was just a matter of when and not if we would get another one, but things didn’t bounce our way like they have been. It has been unbelievable the way our guys have held together this year and got us to this point. It’s unheard of for a hockey team go through almost the entire month of January and all of February without losing a game, and that achievement is a testament to the toughness of our players.”