M. Hockey falls in first round

This past weekend, the Colby men’s hockey team traveled to Hartford, Connecticut to face Trinity in the first round of the NESCAC playoffs. The Mules knew that pulling off an upset victory over the Bantams would be a tall task, as the defending national champions have been almost impossible to beat at home over the past two years. While Colby Men’s Hockey fought admirably, they ultimately dropped the contest by a score of 3-1.

Trinity came out firing in the first frame, and if not for Emerson Verrier ’18 stopping 22 out of the Bantams’ 23 shots, the game could have gotten ugly quickly. Colin Reilly ’17 said this about the first period: “We had a pretty poor start to the game and got outshot badly in the first period. Emerson was a force in net. He kept us competitive until we were able to head into the locker room during the first intermission and make some adjustments.” Colby was only able to muster five shots on goal as Trinity took a 1-0 lead into the first break.

Colby, however, was not going down without a fight. The boys came out firing to start the second, winning more loose-puck battles and forcing Trinity onto the defensive. Although the Mules did cede a goal in the second, as Reilly said, “we certainly played better in the second, and everybody in the locker was ready to fight in a win or go home final frame.”

The Mules again upped the energy and intensity to start the final 20 minutes. “We spent a lot of time in our offensive zone, and after many good opportunities, we were able to put one into the back of the net to make it 2-1 in the third,” Reilly said. Jack Burton ’17 punched home his seventh goal of the season to make it a one-goal game with 12 minutes left.

While it looked for a minute that the tide was turning for Colby, the Bantams’ goalie played lights-out in net for the rest of the game. Trinity’s Sean Orlando was able to add another goal with under five minutes to play. Orlando had Colby’s number all day, playing a part in all three scoring plays for the Bantams.

Even though the loss meant the end of the season for the Mules, the hockey program is definitely trending up. Reflecting on the year, Reilly said, “This season was a step in the right direction for us as a program, after a pretty unsuccessful year in 2014-2015. We brought in an awesome freshman class and our seniors did a great job of taking charge and dictating the type of team we were going to be. Next year we’re going to be an upperclassmen heavy team returning a lot of points and minutes. We’re excited.” Only time will tell for the boys from Alfond Arena as they look towards the 2016-2017 season.

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