Trinity defeats men’s ice hockey in NESCAC semifinals

Marcus Mollica ’19 scored the second and final goal in the men’s 2-1 loss to Trinity in the NESCAC semifinals. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Men’s ice hockey was eliminated from the NESCAC Championship semifinals after losing to Trinity on Saturday.

The Ephs (14–11–1, 9–9–1 NESCAC) were defeated by the Bantams (19–5–2, 15–3–1 NESCAC) 5-2. The Ephs scored the first two goals of the game but were unable to respond to the Bantams’ five subsequent goals.

“It’s always tough to close the season, but I’m incredibly proud of this team for what they’ve accomplished,” head coach Mike Monti said.

Last week, Williams eliminated Connecticut College in the NESCAC quarterfinals, while Trinity defeated Tufts to get into the semifinals match.

Starting in net for the Ephs was Michael Pinios ’19, who came into the match with a 0.910 save percentage. Late in the second period, the Ephs made a goalie change, and Stephen Morrissey ’18 became the net-minder for the remainder of the game. Morrissey came into the game with a 0.922 save percentage. In the opposing crease was Bantam Alex Morin.

The Ephs took an early two-goal lead in the contest.

“We had a great start,” Monti noted, “and really earned two goals early. We had great momentum.”

The first goal came at just 1:45 of the first period. Tyler Scott ’21 was able to slide one past Morin on a play assisted by Roberto Cellini ’19  and Will Somers ’20, giving the men an early 1-0 lead.

The Ephs padded their lead to two goals at 11:42 into the first period. Marcus Mollica ’19 fired one past Morin, assisted by Max Fuld ’20 .

Following this two-goal surge by the Ephs, the Bantams responded with five unanswered goals. The first came at 15:19 of the first period, when Ryan Pfeffer lifted one past Pinios to get his team on the board.

“Transition hockey is the biggest strength for Trinity, and that’s what gave them momentum moving forward,” Monti explained.

The Bantams got the equalizer just 29 seconds in the second period. Pfeffer scored his second consecutive goal, assisted by Mark Knowlton, bringing the score to 2-2.

Trinity gained the lead for the first time in the contest just two minutes later. At 2:28, Bantam Andy Chugg scored the lead-capturing goal, assisted by Adam Anderson.

At 15:35 of the second period, the Bantams secured a two-goal lead. This goal came from James Callahan, and Anthony Sabitsky was awarded an assist on the play. The score was 4-2 heading into the final period of play.

Around halfway through the final period, the Bantams scored their fifth and final goal of the game. Tyler Whitney was able to fire one past Morrissey, assisted on the play by Liam Feeney.

The shot count after 60 minutes was 40-16 for Trinity. The game ended with a score of 5-2, eliminating the Ephs from the conference championships.

“What a great group of seniors we had on this team,” Monti said of the five graduating players. “They were leaders, each in their own way. Contributing on and off the ice, this team couldn’t have had success without them. I’m incredibly proud of them for who they are, what they stand for and the legacy they leave behind.”

“On a personal level, there is no group of guys better than this to have my first head coaching experience with,” Monti added. “Their talent, commitment, perseverance and passion are exemplary. It inspired me to be better everyday. I’ll cherish these memories forever.”

The Ephs graduate David Italiano ’18, Morrissey, captain Colby Cretella ’18, C.J. Shugart ’18 and Joe Welch ’18.

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