Courtesy Trinity Sports Information
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Junior forward Cameron Finch (Acton, Mass.) recorded a natural hat trick that included the game-winning goal, leading the Trinity College Bantams to a 9-2 win over the visiting Tufts University Jumbos in the quarterfinal round of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Tournament this afternoon at Kingswood-Oxford Rink. Trinity, ranked No. 3 in the nation, improves to 20-2-2 and extends its unbeaten streak to 11 games, while the Jumbos close the season with a 12-12-1 mark.
Trinity, the tournament’s top seed, will host the NESCAC Semifinals and Finals next weekend at Kingswood-Oxford for the first time. The Bantams will play No. 4-seeded Bowdoin, which downed No. 5-seeded Amherst, 6-4, in its quarterfinal game. No. 2-seeded Middlebury defeated No. 7-seeded Hamilton, 3-0, and will play No. 3-seeded Colby, which walloped No. 6-seeded Williams, 7-0, in the quarterfinals today. The semifinal games will be on Sat., Mar. 5 with the times to be determined and the finals will be Sun., Mar. 6 at noon. Trinity will be making its fourth consecutive appearance in the NESCAC Semifinals, after reaching the league finals the last three years and winning the NESCAC title in 2002-03.
Trinity took a 3-0 lead in the first period, as sophomore forward Adam Ladd (Keene, N.H.) scored from the left wing off a face-off, Finch beat Jumbo freshman goalie James Kalec (East Amherst, N.Y.) on a wrap-around, and Ladd scored again on a rebound over a three-minute span midway through the frame. The Jumbos closed to 3-1 on a wrist shot by senior co-captain forward John Hurd (Arlington, Mass.) that trickled in behind Bantam senior goalie Doug Kisielius (Park Ridge, Ill.) with 5:50 left in the first period.
In the second stanza, the Bantam sophomore forward Simon Dionne (Montreal, Quebec) scored on a breakaway and senior defenseman Andris Kozlovskis (Riga, Latvia) found the net on a slapshot from the blue line to give the home team a 5-1 lead with less than two minutes on the clock. Tufts junior forward Matt McCarthy (Medfield, Mass.) cut the Bantam lead to 5-2 with a quick shot off a face-off with 1:26 remaining in the second period, but Trinity scored four power play goals in the third period to secure the victory.
The Bantams outshot the Jumbos, 36-23, and converted on five out of seven power plays. Senior captain forward Joseph Ori (Niles, Ill.) finished with three assists, while junior defenseman John Newhall (Winchester, Mass.) added a goal and an assist for the Bantams. Kisielius finished with 21 saves, while Kalec and fellow freshman netminder Issa Azzat (South Pasadena, Calif.) combined for 27 stops. Both Jumbo goals came on power plays as well.