HARTFORD, Conn. – The inaugural Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men's ice hockey season came to a close Saturday night as No. 7/7 Endicott fell to No. 8/9 Trinity, 2-1, in double overtime in the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Championship.
The Gulls, which won the first-ever CCC men's ice hockey title, finish the season with a 24-4-2 record.
The Bantams will move onto the NCAA Semifinals in Utica, N.Y. to face No. 3/3 St. Norbert, which defeated No. 10/8 Augsburg in its Quarterfinal, 4-3, in overtime.
The Gulls and Bantams played to a scoreless first period before both teams were able to capitalize on the man-advantage in the second to make the score 1-1. After 48:47 of scoreless hockey, the hosts were able to come out on top with an overtime game-winner 4:15 into the second overtime.
Trinity is one of four teams to advance to Utica, N.Y., at the Utica Memorial Auditorium for the semifinal and championship games, which will be conducted March 24-25. Utica College will host the championship.
Trinity 2, Endicott 1 (2OT)
HARTFORD, Conn. – Trinity College junior forward Anthony Sabitsky (Sicklerville, N.J.) tipped in his 17th goal of the season at the 4:15 mark of double overtime to lift the Bantams past Endicott, 2-1, in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night at the Koeppel Center.
Sabitsky provided Trinity with the game-winner when tipped home a feed from Ryan Cole (Anchorage, Alaska) just inside the left post from close range behind Endicott netminder Kevin Aldridge (Birmingham, Mich.).
With tonight's victory, Trinity (20-6-3) will play the winner of St. Norbert/Augsburg in the NCAA Tournament semifinals on Friday, March 24 in Utica, N.Y. at 6:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the Gulls record-setting season comes to a close at 24-4-2 overall. The 24 wins for Endicott is a single-season program record, while their appearance in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament also marks the Gulls' longest run in the postseason not only for the program, but also for the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).
Aldridge was the difference for Endicott in the contest as the junior goaltender set the single-game program record for saves with 67 total. Aldridge had 21 in the first, 13 in the second, 20 more in the third, 12 in the first overtime, and one in the final extra session.
He also fell one save shy of entering the NCAA Division III record book top-25 list for single-game saves, and three saves away from tying the single-game NCAA Tournament record of 70 set B.J. O'Brien of St. Norbert against Norwich in 2010.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Josh Bowes (Edmonton, Alberta) gave Endicott a 1-0 lead on the power play at 3:12 of the second on a one-timer from the right face-off circle via passes from Carter Horwitz (Tustin, Calif.) and Jack Musil (Hull, England).
- It was Bowes' 12th goal of the season (third power play), and Endicott's 43 power play tally of the year.
- The Gulls entered tonight's contest as the No. 2 ranked power play in all of NCAA Division III.
- Aldridge shattered his previous single-game program record for saves by 15 total.
- Trinity and Endicott combined for a staggering 119 total shots in the instant-classic which took 84:15 to be decided.
FOR THE FOES
- Sean Orlando (Ivyland, Pa.) evened up the matchup at 15:28 of the second with a power play goal set up by Sabitsky and Liam Feeney (Foxboro, Mass.).
- Alex Morin (St. Hubert, Quebec) made 49 saves to improve to 18-6-3 on the season.
- Morin had 15 saves in the first, 10 in the second, an additional eight in the third, and 16 combined over the last two overtime periods.
Game recap courtesy of the Endicott Sports Information Department.
NCAA Tournament First Round
Saturday, March 11 (at Hobart College)
Endicott def. Hobart, 4-3 | BOX
Saturday, March 18 (at Trinity College)
Trinity def. Endicott, 2-1 (2OT) | BOX
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of ten full member and three associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference currently administers championships in 16 intercollegiate sports with that number set to increase next year with the addition of football.