Trinity Clinches the Top Seed in the NESCAC Tournament with Win Over Colby

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Hartford, Conn. – The No. 4 Trinity College men's ice hockey team clinched the top seed in the upcoming New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament with a 5-1 thumping of Colby on Saturday afternoon inside the Koeppel Community Sports Center on Williams Rink. The Bantams notched their fifth straight victory to improve to 19-2-1 overall and 14-1-1 in league play, while the Mules suffered their second straight loss to drop to 5-14-4 on the year and 2-11-3 in conference tilts.

Sophomore forward Ryan Cole (Anchorage, Alaska) and junior forward Michael Hawkrigg (Toronto, Ontario) led the offensive charge for the Bantams with two goals apiece. Cole also added an assist to give him a six-point weekend for Trinity. Three other skaters registered multi-point contests for the hosts as senior tri-captain Jackson Brewer (Newton, Mass.) picked up three assists, sophomore winger Sean Orlando (Ivyland, Pa.) potted a power-play marker and added a pair of helpers and senior tri-captain Michael Flynn (Cheshire, Conn.) recorded two assists.

After a scoreless first period, Trinity opened the scoring as Hawkrigg fired a shot that beat Colby senior netminder Sam Parker just over five minutes into the second. Three minutes later, Cole stretched the Bantams lead to two with the first of three Trinity power-play goals on the afternoon. Nice puck movement by Brewer and Flynn left Cole with an empty net and he buried a wrister. The Mules cut the deficit in half late in the stanza as first-year forward Michael Rudolf netted his fifth tally of the season following a turnover deep in the Trinity zone with junior defenseman Jonathan Sdao picking up his first assist of the winter on the play.

A penalty late in the second period came back to bite the visitors as Orlando scored on the man advantage just 25 seconds into the third. Orlando now leads the country with 10 power-play markers this season and the second-year skater also has a team-high 14 tallies this year. Later in the third, the Bantams put the game out of reach as Hawkrigg and Cole both found the back of the net.

Down the stretch, play got chippy as Trinity clinched the No. 1 seed and home-ice advantage in the NESCAC Tournament for the second year in a row.

Junior goaltender Nathaniel Heilbron (West Vancouver, British Columbia) played well between the pipes for the Bantams once again, turning aside 25 shots to earn the victory. On the opposite end, Parker made 36 saves in a losing effort for the Mules.

Trinity held a 41-26 advantage in shots and converted on three of their six power-play opportunities. On special teams, Colby went 0-for-5 with the man advantage.

The Bantams conclude the regular season next weekend, Feb. 20-21, with a home-and-home weekend series versus in-state and conference foe Wesleyan.

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