Two pretty disciplined teams in terms of commiting penalties coming into this one, so of course we had a penalty laden first period. The teams combine for about 20 penalty minutes a game on average but had a total of 12 in the first period alone. Both capitalized on one of their two plus man advantage opportunities with the Bantams striking first at the 3:38 mark. Sean Orlando pumped home a goal from the low slot after puck movement from Ryan Cole and Mike Hawkrigg. The Pointers struck back at the 15:16 mark, when Alex Brooks laid it off for Kyle Brodie, who lazered it past the right shoulder of Nate Heilbron from the point.
Three more power plays in the 2nd (and three too many men on the ice calls through two periods, weird) but neither team scored on special teams. The only goal of the period less than two minutes in on an excellent concentration play from Mike Hawkrigg as he put in a short pad rebound while falling to the ice on a Paul Burns rip. The Pointers swirled throughout the period and ended up with a 25-12 shots advantage through two, but nothing got past Heilbron in the second frame.
Since it is a national title game, unless someone pulled out a machine gun, there were going to be no penalties called. In a more evenly played period, the Pointers pulled even at 9:10 mark when Nick D'Avolio put in a rebound far pad side on a Brooks shot. D'Avolio had the equalizer against Amherst as well, but this time the Pointers wouldn't pull away. The Bantams took the lead for good with 3:52 remaining when Brandon Cole dislodged a puck behind the net and found Ethan Holdaway in the slot for the tally. UWSP pulled their goalie with 1:39 but couldn't capitalize and Trinity put in two empty netters to seal it.
It's the first D-III MIH title for a NESCAC team not named Middlebury, ironically (poetically) in the year that eight time national champion coach Bill Beaney of Midd. retired. Matt Greason took a team that was 9-13-2 in his first season (when his seniors were freshman) and brought them to a national title just three years later. He also kept them focused after a deflating NESCAC Quarterfinal loss to eight seed Tufts that could have knocked them out if not for a Pool C bid. It's a special moment for all ten seniors including Liam McKillop, who transferred from D-II (which has no playoffs) St. Anselm to Trinity in fall of 2013. Sean Orlando, Mike Flynn, Mike Hawkrigg and Nate Heilbron all made the All-Tournament team, with Heilbron earning the tournament's Most Outstanding Player Award. The junior netminder stepped up big this season in his first full season as a starter. Congrats to the Bantams and that's a wrap on an uber exciting season of NESCAC hockey!