Men’s hockey hosts No. 3/4 Trinity and Wesleyan this weekend

Ian Nichols '19 (Josh McKee photo)
Ian Nichols '19 (Josh McKee photo)

The Hamilton College men's hockey team hosts No. 3/4 Trinity College and Wesleyan University this weekend in NESCAC action at Russell Sage Rink.

The Continentals -- ranked fifth by D3hockey.com and eighth by USCHO.com -- face the reigning NESCAC Champions and NCAA Runner-Ups on Saturday at 7 p.m. before facing off against Wesleyan on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Hamilton (0-0-1 NESCAC) is coming off a 2-0 weekend to win Skidmore College's Thanksgiving Invitational title. The Continentals outscored their opponents 7-2 to improve their overall record to 3-0-1. Rory Gagnon '19 totaled four goals during the Skidmore Invitational and is tied for first in the NESCAC with an average of 1.25 goals per game. Nick Ursitti '20 and Brandon Willett '18 have recorded two goals and two assists apiece.

Sophomore transfer Anthony Tirabassi '20 ranks second in the NESCAC in goals against average (0.50) and save percentage (.982) through 120 minutes in goal for Hamilton, while Evan Buitenhuis '18 places fourth in the NESCAC in goals against average (1.44) and sixth in save percentage (.953) with 124+ minutes in goal.

ABOUT TRINITY COLLEGE

Trinity (5-0 overall) is ranked third in the nation by D3hockey.com and fourth by USCHO.com. The Bantams opened the season with victories over Tufts and Conn. College for an early 2-0 NESCAC record and are coming off an 11-0 win over Franklin Pierce on Nov. 26. Trinity has played all of their games at home so far this season.

Tyler Whitney and James Callahan pace the NESCAC with seven points each. Eric Benshadle and Dylan Healey lead the team with four goals apiece, and Anthony Sabitsky has recorded three goals and three assists.

Alex Morin has been the primary goalie for Trinity and ranks third in the NESCAC with a 1.00 goals against average and fifth with a .955 save percentage. Tedy Loughborough has yet to let up a goal in 120 minutes of play with shutouts over Nazareth and Franklin Pierce.  

Saturday's game will be the first time the two teams meet since the 2017 NESCAC Championship final held at Russell Sage Rink on March 5 when the Bantams snuck away with the 3-2 overtime victory. Hamilton has a 14-20-4 all-time record against Trinity.

ABOUT WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY

Wesleyan (1-1-2, 0-1-1 NESCAC) is also heading out on the road for the first time this season, and will face Amherst (2-1-1, 0-0-1 NESCAC) on Saturday night before arriving at Hamilton on Sunday. The Cardinals opened the season with a 5-3 loss to Conn. College before tying Tufts 3-3 the following day. Wesleyan earned their first win of the year in a 4-0 victory over Franklin Pierce on Nov. 25.

Dylan Holze matches Gagnon's 1.25 goals per game, placing them both at the top of the NESCAC leaderboard. Tyler Wyatt has two goals and four assists, and Jordan Jancze has two goals and one assist. Tim Sestake and George Blinick have shared the goaltending duties this season, combining for a .904 save percentage and 2.64 goals against average.

The two teams last met in the 2017 NESCAC Championship semifinal when Hamilton came away with a 5-4 victory. The Continentals have a 31-8-4 all-time record over the Cardinals.