Middletown, Conn. – The Trinity College Bantams scored four times in the second period, twice by senior captain Sean Orlando (Ivyland, Pa.), en route to a 7-2 victory over in-state New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rival Wesleyan University on Friday night in men's hockey action at Spurrier-Snyder Rink in Middletown. No. 12-ranked Trinity improves to 14-6-3 overall and 10-5-2 in league play while Wesleyan falls to 12-7-4 on the year and 7-6-4 in NESCAC action. The two teams return to the ice tomorrow for the series finale and regular season finale on Trinity's home ice at the Koeppel Center. Trinity will honor the members of its senior class before the game.
The Bantams outshot Wesleyan, 47-17, in a dominant offensive effort in the team's fourth-straight win. Junior netminder Alex Morin (St. Hubert, Quebec) finished the evening with 15 saves for the Bantams while Wesleyan starting goalie Dawson Sprigings (Toronto, Ontario) tallied 33 stops.
Trinity had its first true scoring chance of the night when juniors Tyler Whitney (Wakefield, Mass.) and Connor Hegarty (Wakefield, Mass.) led a 2-on-1 with eight minutes gone by in the first period. Whitney served a pass to Hegarty who was flying towards the backside post but Hegarty's one-timer missed the net, wide right, to no avail. Senior captain Will Sleeper (Wellesley, Mass.) nearly broke the scoreless tie near the eight minute mark when he deflected a Barclay Gammill (New Canaan, Conn.) pass towards net, but the puck nicked the crossbar and bounced high into the boards. With 5:52 to play in the first period, Trinity finally found the back of the net via the 15th goal of the year by junior Anthony Sabitsky (Sicklerville, N.J.). Sabitsky wrapped the puck around the back of the net and stuffed the puck between the pipe and Sprigings' leg pad, off a team-leading 17th assist by senior Ryan Cole (Anchorage, Ak.).
The Bantams wasted no time getting things going in the second period as Orlando potted his 12th goal of the season to open up a 2-0 Trinity lead. Orlando received a pass from senior captain Ethan Holdaway (Glastonbury, Conn.) in Wesleyan's defensive zone and fired a wrist-shot over Sprigings glove and into top shelf of the net. Just 2:37 later, Orlando scored again after he controlled the puck near center ice, skated around the back of the Wesleyan goal and wrapped the puck past Sprigings and into the back of the net. Hegarty gave Trinity a commanding, 4-0 lead, still with less than seven minutes elapsed in the period, before first-year defenseman Andy Chugg (Mesa, Ariz.) potted his first career goal in a Bantam uniform less than a minute later to break open a 5-0 lead.
Sleeper put the Bantams ahead, 6-0, at the 16:42 mark in the final period after he picked off an errant Cardinal pass in their defensive zone, fired a wrister than was initially stopped by Sprigings, but cleaned up the rebound and connected puck with netting. The goal came shorthanded for Trinity who was whistled for a tripping penalty prior. Wesleyan ended the shutout with 5:18 remaining on a goal by Walker Harris (Boulder, Colo.), assisted by Chad Malinowski (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) and Dylan Holze (Lynnbrook, N.Y.), before Ryan Cole added Trinity's seventh and final goal of the evening with 1:26 left to play, assisted by classmate and brother Brandon Cole (Anchorage, Ak.). Wesleyan netted a power play score in the waning seconds of the contest off the stick of Quincy Oujevolk (Plantation, Fla.) to account for the 7-2 final.