Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff
Hartford, CT-It was as much a staring contest, as it was a hockey game in Hartford.
Just ask Trinity(20-6-3) goaltender Alex Morin and Endicott's (24-4-2) Kevin Aldridge. The pair delivered show-stopping performances in a 1-1 game through 60 minutes, and it would take more than twenty additional minutes before one of them would so much as blink.
The high noon standoff eventually needed to have a winner, and in double overtime, that win was achieved by Morin and the Trinity Bantams. Trinity's 69th shot of the matchup made the difference as Ryan Cole fed the puck off a right wing entry, and the redirect by centerman Anthony Sabitsky at 4:15 of the second overtime period tracked out of the path of Aldridge to finalize a 2-1 Bantam win and advance Trinity to a second appearance in three seasons in the NCAA Division III Frozen Four. The Bantams will meet St. Norbert in the second NCAA semifinal on Friday.
"Special teams find a way to get things done and this is a special team," Trinity head coach Matt Greason said, "I wanted to have another week with these guys. They deserve it."
Off the opening jump in the first period, the precedent of strong goaltending was well-established. In a period with 36 combined shots, 21 of them Trinity's, Morin and Aldridge managed to turn aside every single one, and each withstood a power play tenure apiece from the opposition to hold a 0-0 score at the end of the opening period of play.
A lot of proverbial water had built up at the dams after that 36 shot period, and as Trinity went to the power play early in the second period, the one in their own end would burst first. Carter Horwitz generated a chance that was next to impossible for Morin to stop, connecting the pass to a back door one timer by Josh Bowes to give the Gulls a 1-0 lead at 3:12. The goal was the 12th of the season for Bowes.
Trinity was challenged to respond after Endicott's opener goal, and they neutralized their misfire on special teams with a power play goal. Trinity forced the Gulls to pay up on a Logan Day crosschecking call at 14:15 of the second when Sean Orlando continued a monster postseason with the flush on a point blank opportunity to even the game at one. Orlando has not failed to put up a point in every game of this postseason for the Bantams.
That score held all the way through the third period, and through a first overtime frame as Aldridge and Morin each posted numerous key stops. Aldridge again kept the Bantams in check after a 20 shot third period from the Gulls, and raised the curtain on a first overtime. Trinity thinly outshot
|In a game dominated by goaltending, Anthony Sabitsky broke a 1-1 tie in double overtime to advance Trinity to Utica, where they have not played since their 2014-15 NCAA title season.
Photo: Larry Radloff, D3photography.com
the Gulls in the first overtime frame, 12-10. Endicott brought the heat in the additional overtime with a better possession effort on the front end, but it takes just one shot to end it, and on their second shot of the second overtime, that chance came for Trinity and Sabitsky, who powered in the game-winner to leave a strong upstart effort for Endicott just short in their second season as a program.
The Bantams outshot the Gulls 69-50 in the matchup, with an impressive total of 67 saves for Aldridge. Morin's 49 saves at Trinity's own end were good enough to pick up the victory. Each team recorded one power play goal to finish even for the day. Endicott wraps up their year at 24-4-2 in just their second campaign under RJ Tolan.