Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College men's ice hockey team, which defeated Plattsburgh State, 5-1, in the NCAA Division III Championship Quarterfinals over the weekend, will make a return trip to the NCAA Final Four after a 10-year hiatus when the Bantams face off against the Adrian College Bulldogs in the semifinals on Friday, March 27 at 5 p.m. EST at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. Trinity, coached by Matt Greason (4th Season), is 23-3-1 after Saturday night's win, while Adrian is 24-3-3 after edging Oswego, 5-4, in their quarterfinal game. The winner of Friday's night game will advance to the NCAA Division III Championship Finals against either Amherst or Wisc.-Stevens Point the next evening at 8 p.m. EST.
Click here for a behind-the-scenes look at Trinity's NCAA Quarterfinals win.
The Ridder Arena Box Office will start selling tickets beginning Tuesday, March 24 at 10 a.m. eastern time for all-sessions packages and Wednesday, March 25 at 6 p.m. eastern time for single game tickets. You can purchase tickets by calling the box office at (612) 624-8080 and pressing option 2 for the fan relations line or you can visit https://www.mygophersports.com/Online/DIII-Hockey-Championship to order your tickets online. The all-sessions package will give you access into both semifinals and the national championship game. The second semifinal between UW-Stevens Point and Amherst will begin at 8:30 p.m. EST on Friday with the national championship game on Saturday, March 28 at 8 p.m. EST. The all-sessions package is $25 for adults and $20 for seniors over 65 and children under 18. The single-game tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors over 65 and children under 18.
Trinity has won 19 of 21 games after November and finished at the top of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Standings for the second year in a row. The Bantams rallied back from a loss to Tufts in its league tournament to defeat Nichols, 4-2, in the NCAA First Round and reach the quarterfinals for the fourth time in as many NCAA Tourney appearances. Trinity previously played in the NCAA Tournament in 2003, 2005 and 2008, advancing to the NCAA Frozen Four in 2005. The Bantams lost, 4-1, to St. Thomas (Minn.) at Middlebury in its previous NCAA Semifinal contest in 2004-05.
Trinity dominated the NESCAC post-season awards, as sophomore forward Ryan Cole (Anchorage, Alaska) was named as the NESCAC Player of the Year and Flynn, junior forward Michael Hawkrigg (Toronto, Ontario), and Heilbron on the all-conference first team. In addition, Flynn, Cole, and Brewer 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 sixth in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 4.26 goals per game, fifth in country in scoring defense, allowing 1.78 goals per contest, and third in scoring margin at +2.48. 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. The Bantams are also second in the NESCAC on the power play with goals 27.1 percent of the time, and second killing penalties with opponents scoring with the extra skater just 14.6 percent of the time.
Cole leads the league in scoring with 36 points (14th in nation), while Hawkrigg is second with 34 points, Brewer is fourth with 33 points, and sophomore forward Sean Orlando
(Ivyland, Pa.) and first-year forward Tyler Whitney (Wakefield, Mass.) are tied for ninth with 25 points apiece. Cole is tied for 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 (12th in nation), while Cole is second with 21, Hawkrigg is third with 20, and Flynn is tied for sixth with 16. 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 18 points (two goals). Heilbron ranks second in the league in both save percentage at .935 (8th in nation) and GAA at 1.90 (10th in nation) to go with 586 saves, while Flynn anchors an experienced blue line, including fellow seniors Paul Burns (New Hope, Pa.), Greg Rooney (Shrewbury, Mass.), and Andrew Tallett (Manchester, Mass.) that has held Trinity opponents to 314 less shots than the Bantams this winter.
Adrian will be making its second appearance in the NCAA Division III Semifinals after finishing as national runner-up in 2011, and will also be playing Trinity for the first time. In its first season under Head Coach Adam Krug, the Bulldogs have won 12 games in a row since February 23. Kyle Brothers leads Adrian in scoring with 24 goals and 25 assists, while Josh Ranelli adds 17 goals and a team-high 44 assists. Scott Shackell has 554 saves for a .930 save percentage and a 1.99 GAA in the Bulldog net.
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