Trinity Men's Ice Hockey Hosts NESCAC Tournament For Fourth Time This Weekend

Koeppel Community Sports Center on Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6

Hartford, Conn., March 2, 2016 - The defending NCAA and two-time league champion Trinity College Bantams, which defeated No. 7-seeded Colby, 3-1, on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men's Ice Hockey Championship Tournament to improve to 19-5-1, will host the NESCAC Semifinals and Finals for the third time at Williams Rink in the Koeppel Community Sports Center on Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6. The Bantams, ranked No. 4 in the East Region and No. 6 in the nation, will play the No. 8-seeded Tufts University Jumbos in the semifinals Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Tufts stunned top-seeded Williams by a 2-1 count in its quarterfinal game.  Tickets will be $5 for adults and $2 for students. The winner of the NESCAC Championship Tournament will determine the league's automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.

In the other NESCAC Semifinal Saturday, No. 5-seeded Middlebury faces No. 6-seeded Amherst at 1 p.m., and the semifinal winners will play in the NESCAC Finals the next day at 2 p.m. The Bantams, coached by Matt Greason (5th season), own a 16-13 all-time record in the NESCAC Tournament and won the conference crowns in 2003 and 2008. Trinity played in the semifinals two years ago as the top seed but lost to Bowdoin, 5-4.  The Bantams defeated the Jumbos, 3-2, in their season opener at home in November and edged them by the same score on the road on January 22, but Tufts handed Trinity a 2-1 setback in Hartford last year's league quarterfinals when the Bantams were seeded at the top of the field.

Anthony Sabitsky '18 leads the Bantams in scoring with 11 goals and 14 assistsTrinity leads the NESCAC in scoring with 3.52 goals per game and ranks third overall defensively at 2.20 gpg and on the power play with goals 18.5 percent of the time.  Sophomore forward Anthony Sabitsky (Sicklerville, N.J., pictured at right) is third in the conference in scoring with 25 points, while junior forward Sean Orlando (Ivyland, Pa.) is tied for fourth with 24 points, and junior forwards Ryan Cole (Anchorage, Alaska.) and Ethan Holdaway (Glastonbury, Conn.) are both tied with four others for 10th with 20 points each. Holdaway ranks third in the conference with 13 goals, followed by Sabitsky who is tied for seventh with 11 tallies.  Orlando and sophomore defenseman Griffyn Martin (Southport, Conn.) are tied for third in the conference in assists with 15 helpers apiece, while Sabitsky is tied for fifth with 14.  Orlando tops the NESCAC in power-play goals with four (tied), while Cole and Orlando have the most game-winners with three each (tied), and Martin is the fourth-most prolific blue liner with 16 points (one goal).  Sophomore goaltender Alex Morin (St. Hubert, Quebec) ranks third in the league in GAA at 1.69 (8th in nation), while he and senior Nathaniel Heilbron (West Vancouver, British Columbia) have 624 saves and a .919 save percentage between them in net. 

Sophomore forward Tyler Whitney (Wakefield, Mass.) and senior captain forward Elie Vered (Ottawa, Ontario) have added eight goals and five goals, respectively, and each has 10 assists.  Junior forward Brandon Cole (Anchorage, Alaska) adds seven goals and six assists, and senior forward Michael Hawkrigg (Toronto, Ontario) has two goals and nine assists in 16 games having missed nine due to injury.  Junior defensemen T.J. Sherman (Chesterfield, Mo.) has appeared in every game on the Bantam blue line and contributed three goals and 11 assists on offense.  Trinity received a goal and an assist apiece from Hawkrigg and Orlando against Colby last week, while first-year Mark Knowlton (Coloradom Springs, Colo.) added a goal and an assist, and Morin made 26 saves in goal.

Tufts, coached by (Pat Norton (1st Season), is 2-7 all-time in NESCAC Championship play but 2-1 over the last 13 months including 2-1 road wins over Trinity last year and Williams this year as the No. 8 seed.  Junior goalie Mason Pulde (Lexington, Mass.) leads the conference with a .947 save percentage to go along with a 1.91 goals against average. In the offensive end, the Jumbos have six players with five or more goals and eight players with ten or more points. First-year David Lackner (Newport, R.I.) and sophomore Brian Brown (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) lead the team in goals and assists, respectively. Lackner has chipped in eight goals while Brown has recorded 12 assists.  Trinity toppled the Jumbos by a 9-2 score in the other post-season meeting between the clubs in 2005 quarterfinals.