Trinity Men's Ice Hockey Faces Plattsburgh On Home Ice In NCAA Quarters Saturday Night

The winner of Saturday's night game will advance to the NCAA Division III Semifinals

Hartford, Conn., March 18, 2015 - The Trinity College men's ice hockey team, which defeated Nichols, 4-2, in its first-ever NCAA Division III Championship home game over the weekend, will remain in Hartford for the quarterfinal round against the SUNY Plattsburgh Cardinals on Saturday, March 21 at 7 p.m.  The Bantams, coached by Matt Greason (4th Season), are now 22-3-1 and will be playing in the NCAA Quarters for the fourth time and the first time since 2007-08.  The higher-seeded Cardinals will be the home team in the game at Trinity's Koeppel Community Sports Center, as Plattsburgh State was unable to host the game due to the NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey Final Four this weekend at its facility.  The winner of Saturday's night game will advance to the NCAA Division III Semifinals at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. on Friday, March 27, and the NCAA Championship Finals will be at the same site the next day.  Tickets for the Saturday's game will be $6 for adults, $4 for students, and $3 for children under 12.  Tickets are available for available in advance through the Plattsburgh State athletic office (518-564-4127) until March 20 or will be sold at the door on Saturday beginning at 6 p.m.

After a two-week hiatus, Trinity never trailed in its win over the Nichols Bison behind 34 saves by junior goaltender Nathaniel Heilbron (West Vancouver, British Columbia) and a goal and an assist by rookie forward Anthony Sabitsky (Sicklerville, N.J.).  Sabitsky scored the only goal of the first period and provided an assist on the game-winner by senior defenseman Greg Rooney (Shrewsbury, Mass.), while junior Ben Hjalmarsson (Stockholm, Sweden) and sophomore Ryan Cole (Anchorage, Alaska) also scored for the Bantams.

Trinity had won 17 of 18 games after November and finished at the top of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Standings with a 16-1-1 league mark before suffering a 2-1 loss against Tufts in the NESCAC Quarterfinals on February 28. The Bantams have posted a 6-1-1 mark in the fall semester, and a 15-2 record since January 1, with its three losses coming at home against No. 13-ranked Mass.-Boston (5-3), at No. 7-ranked Amherst (2-1 in OT), and against the Jumbos and its tie was 1-1 against Hamilton on the November 22.  The Bantams are one of two NESCAC schools still competing for the national title as Amherst won the league crown to earn an automatic bid and received a bye to the NCAA Quarterfinals.  Trinity is making its fourth overall NCAA appearance, having reached the tournament in 2003, 2005 and 2008, advancing to the NCAA Frozen Four in 2005.

Trinity dominated the NESCAC post-season awards, as Cole was named as the NESCAC Player of the Year and joined senior defenseman Michael Flynn (Cheshire, Conn.), junior forward Michael Hawkrigg (Toronto, Ontario), and Heilbron on the all-conference first team.  In addition, Flynn, Cole, and senior Jackson Brewer (Newton, Mass.) were each selected as semifinalists for the Concannon Award as the top American-born Division II/III men's ice hockey player in New England.  Brewer was both the NESCAC Player of the Year and the Concannon Award recipient in 2013-14.

The Bantams rank seventh in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 4.24 goals per game, fifth in country in scoring defense, allowing 1.80 goals per contest, and fourth in scoring margin at +2.44. Trinity's offense is both balanced and high-powered with 11 players in double digits in scoring and several appearing among the league leaders in the league and the nation, and the Bantams are also second in the NESCAC on the power play with goals 26.9 percent of the time. 

Cole leads the league in scoring with 36 points (12th in nation), while Hawkrigg is second with 34 points, Brewer is fifth with 31 points, and sophomore forward Sean Orlando (Ivyland, Pa.) ranks ninth with 25 points. Cole ranks second in the conference with 15 goals, while Hawkrigg and Orlando are tied for fourth with 14 apiece, followed by first-year forward Tyler Whitney (Wakefield, Mass.) who is tied for ninth with 11 tallies.  Brewer is the conference's top assist man with 24 helpers (10th in nation), while Cole is second with 21, Hawkrigg is third with 20, and Flynn is tied for eighth with 15.  Orlando tops all of NCAA Division III in power-play goals with 10, while Whitney is tied for the most game-winners with five (T2nd in nation), and Flynn is the second-most prolific blue liner with 17 points (two goals).   Heilbron ranks second in the league in both save percentage at .932 and GAA at 1.95 (12th nationally in both) to go with 546 saves, while Flynn anchors an experienced blue line, including fellow seniors Paul Burns (New Hope, Pa.), Rooney, and Andrew Tallett (Manchester, Mass.) that has held Trinity opponents to 325 less shots than the Bantams this winter.

For the first time since the 2011-12 campaign, Plattsburgh State will be making an appearance in the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Tournament.  The Cardinals (20-5-2) secured an automatic bid into the tournament in addition to a first-round bye into the quarterfinals by defeating Oswego State 2-1 in the SUNYAC Championship game on March 7. Connor Toomey leads the Cardinals in scoring with 12 goals and 19 assists, while Brady Rouleau has 346 saves and a 2.17 in the Plattsburgh State net.

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