Feb 28, 2019
HADLEY, Mass. – Top-seeded Trinity will host the remaining rounds of the NESCAC Men’s Ice Hockey Championship for the third time in four years as the top four seeds all advanced out of the quarterfinals. The semifinals are set for Saturday, March 2 with No. 2 Wesleyan facing No. 3 Amherst at 1 p.m. and the Bantams hosting No. 4 Hamilton at 4:30 p.m. The winners will meet in the NESCAC Championship game at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 3 at Trinity.
Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $6 for adults and $3 for students/senior citizens/children. Children under two-years-old are free. Please note no dogs will be allowed inside the athletic facility or rink.
Both semifinal games, as well as the championship game, will be streamed online via the Northeast Sports Network (NSN) at NESCAC.com. The games will also be available on Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire, search for ‘NESCAC Network’ and download the channel.
Trinity (17-3-5) shut out No. 8 Tufts, 3-0, to advance to the NESCAC Semifinals for the fourth straight year and sixth time in seven seasons. Trinity first-year Lucas Michaud, the NESCAC Rookie of the Year, leads the Bantams in scoring and ranks fourth in the conference with 24 points on 10 goals and 14 assists. Junior Taggart Corriveau and senior Ryan Pfeffer have four power-play goals each to rank second in the NESCAC. Sophomore Michael Grande, an All-NESCAC First Team selection, ranks second among league defensemen in scoring with 18 points (7-11-18). Junior goaltender Tedy Loughborough was an All-NESCAC Second Team honoree and leads the NESCAC in goals against average (1.61) and ranks second in save percentage (.938). Trinity has the top scoring offense, averaging 3.40 goals per game, and the stingiest defense in the conference, giving up 1.72 goals per game.
Hamilton (13-9-3) advanced to the semifinals for the second time in three years with a 4-3 overtime win against No. 5 Williams. Senior Jason Brochu, an All-NESCAC Second Team performer, scored twice for the Continentals, including the overtime game-winner. He leads Hamilton in scoring with 22 points on 11 goals and 11 assists. Classmate Rory Gagnon ranks second on the Hamilton squad in scoring with 18 points (8-10-18) and 15 of the 18 points were recorded in NESCAC games. The Continentals are averaging 2.76 goals per game and are 5-0-1 in their last six games heading into the semifinals.
Trinity and Hamilton played to a pair of ties during the regular season. The teams skated to a 2-2 draw at Trinity and played to a 3-3 decision at Hamilton. Trinity won the only meeting between the two teams in the NESCAC postseason series, a 3-2 overtime win in the 2017 championship game played at Hamilton. Trinity is looking to return to the title game for the fourth year in a row. The Continentals are seeking an appearance in the championship game for the second time in three years.
The second semifinal features No. 2 Wesleyan (16-7-2) versus No. 3 Amherst (14-6-4). The Cardinals, who earned their highest seed in program history, advanced to the semifinals following a 4-1 victory over No. 7 Middlebury behind goals from four different players. All-NESCAC First Team selection Walker Harris, a junior, leads the league in scoring with 31 points on 19 goals, including five game-winners, and 12 assists. Senior defenseman Chad Malinowski ranks among the scoring leaders at his position with 14 points (3-11-14) and was an All-NESCAC Second Team honoree for the third year in a row. Junior goaltender Tim Sestak was named the NESCAC Player of the Year. He owns a .946 save percentage to lead NESCAC goaltenders, and has a 1.65 goals against average. The Cardinals established a new conference record for the longest unbeaten streak (13-0-2) and posted a program-high 15 wins during the regular season.
Amherst is in the semifinals for the first time since 2016 and the ninth time overall after blanking No. 6 Colby, 5-0, in the quarterfinals. Joey Lupo scored once and added an assist to pace Amherst in the victory. Lupo, a junior and All-NESCAC First Team player, leads Amherst offensively with 24 points on 11 goals and 13 assists. He is also tied for first in the league with nine power-player points (3-6-9). Senior defenseman Phil Johansson, another All-NESCAC selection for the Mammoths, ranks second among the NESCAC assist leaders (14) and leads all NESCAC defensemen in scoring with 20 points (6-14-20). Sophomore Michael Cullen and junior Giancarlo Ventre have split time in net for the Mammoths this season. Cullen picked up the shutout against the Mules and owns a 1.75 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. Ventre carries a 2.24 goals against average with a .923 save percentage into the weekend. The Mammoths have the top penalty kill unit in the NESCAC and ranks second on the power play.
Wesleyan and Amherst played to a 1-1 tie at the end of November before the Cardinals pulled out a 1-0 victory over the Mammoths at the end of January during the regular season. Amherst defeated Wesleyan, 2-0, in the 2007 NESCAC Quarterfinals in the only meeting between the two teams in the NESCAC Tournament.
Results for the NESCAC Men’s Ice Hockey Championship will be available at the completion of each day at NESCAC.com.