Hartford, Conn. - Jack Fitzgerald (Guilford, Conn.) scored twice in the first period to help lead the visiting Amherst College Mammoths to a 3-2 victory over the Trinity College Bantams on Saturday afternoon in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's hockey action at the Koeppel Center in Hartford. The loss is Trinity's first of the season as they fall to 4-1-2 overall and 2-1-1 in league play while Amherst improves to 3-2-1 on the year and 1-1-1 in NESCAC play. Trinity, ranked No. 5 in the country, returns to action on December 9 for a non-conference road matchup at Manhattanville.
Amherst wasted no time breaking the score open with a goal in the game's first 20 seconds. Jack Lloyd (Herndon, Va.) fired a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that was turned aside by Trinity rookie goalie Jonah Capriotti (Mount Hope, Ontario). The rebound, however, fell to the back-side post where Jack Fitzgerald (Guilford, Conn.) was stationed before he dumped the rebound into the back of the net.
The Bantams got it back near the midway mark of the first period after Amherst was whistled for an interference call. Trinity's power play unit made good on the opportunity thanks to a goal by first-year Lucas Michaud (South Portland, Maine). Sophomore Michael Grande (West Chester, Pa.) fired a shot from the point that Michaud was able to put a stick on and re-direct past Mammoth goalie Giancarlo Ventre (Morrisonville, N.Y.).
The Mammoths reclaimed the lead thanks to Fitzgerald's second goal of the period after Amherst earned a man-advantage thanks to a Bantam penalty. Fitzgerald and Steven Mallory (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) played a give-and-go with Mallory at the point, leading to a shot from Fitzgerald that sailed into the top-shelf of the net.
Amherst added to its lead 5:53 into the second period on a goal by Sean Wrenn (Charlestown, Mass.), but Trinity proved resilient and answered to cut the deficit back to one. Michaud sent a pass up ice to rookie Devin Moore (Danville, N.H.) who raced towards the net, slipping a shot between the post and the leg pad of Ventre for his second goal of the winter. Neither side budged for the rest of the period as Amherst took the 3-2 lead into the second intermission.
Both team's had power play opportunities halfway through the third period but neither team converted them into scores. With 1:19 left to play, Trinity pulled Capriotti from goal to gain an extra skater. Shortly thereafter, junior Andy Chugg (Mesa, Ariz.) sent a pass from behind the net to classmate Barclay Gammill (New Canaan, Conn.) who slammed a one-timer towards net, but Ventre slid in front of the shot to make the save. Off the ensuing faceoff, Grande fire a slap shot that had a chance, but the puck missed the net wide-right before rattling around the boards. Amherst managed to keep Trinity away from the goal for the waning moments of the period to hold on for the 3-2 victory.
Trinity finished with the advantage in shots, 39-32, while both teams finished 1-for-4 on the power play. Ventre made 37 saves in his first win of the season while Capriotti made a career-high 30 saves.