NESCAC Preview: No. 3 Men's Hockey Set to take on No. 2 Wesleyan in NESCAC Semifinals

NESCAC Preview: No. 3 Men's Hockey Set to take on No. 2 Wesleyan in NESCAC Semifinals

NESCAC CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL

AMHERST – The third-seeded Amherst College men's hockey team is set to take on second-seeded Wesleyan University in 2019 NESCAC Championship Semifinal action this weekend. The first of two matchups on the day, Amherst will hit the ice on Saturday, March 2 at 1 p.m. at the Koeppel Center on the campus of top-seeded Trinity College.

In regular season play, Amherst battled the Cardinals to a 1-1 OT draw at Wesleyan on Nov. 30 before dropping a nail-biter at home, 1-0 on Jan. 25, while Hamilton and Trinity battled to a 2-2 overtime draw and a 3-3 OT tie on those same dates.

LIVE COVERAGE
Saturday, March 2 - Koeppel Center
No. 3 Amherst vs. No. 2 Wesleyan - 1 p.m. - Video / Live Stats
No. 4 Hamilton at No. 1 Trinity - 4:30 p.m. - Video / Live Stats

HOW THEY GOT HERE

  • The Mammoths are back in the Semifinals for the first time since 2015-16 after shutting out reigning league champs and No. 6 Colby, 5-0.
  • Wesleyan advances past the Quarterfinals after downing No. 7 Middlebury, 4-1.
  • Top-seeded Trinity earned hosting duties throughout the conference playoffs with a 3-0 shutout win over No. 8 Tufts.
  • Hamilton clinched the final spot in the Semifinals after edging No. 5 Williams, 4-3 in overtime.

SCOUTING AMHERST
No. 3 Seed (14-6-4, 10-4-4 NESCAC) - Schedule/Roster/Stats

  • Tied for fourth in the NESCAC in points per game (1.04), Joey Lupo '20 leads the Mammoths in goals (11), assists (13) and points (24), while Phil Johansson '19 has racked up 20 points behind six goals and 14 helpers to rank 11th in the league in PPG (0.83).
  • P.J. Conlon '20 (6G-10A-16P), Nick Bondra '21 (4G- 11A-15P), Sean Wrenn '22 (8G-6A-14P), Jack Fitzgerald '19 (7G-7A-14P), Patrick Daly '20 (4G-8A-12P) and Pieter von Steinbergs '21 (3G-7A-10P) constitute the Mammoths other 10-plus point getters on the season.
  • In between the pipes, Michael Cullen '21 (8-3-1) and Giancarlo Ventre '20 (6-3-3) have split minutes for the Mammoths, with Cullen racking up 268 saves in 775:48 to boast a .924 save percentage and a 1.75 goals against average in 13 starts, and Ventre registering 312 stops in 12 starts to own a .923 save percentage and a 2.24 GAA.

SCOUTING WESLEYAN
No. 2 Seed (16-7-2, 13-3-2 NESCAC) - Schedule/Roster/Stats

  • The league's top point getter (1.24PPG), Walker Harris leads the Wesleyan offense with 19 goals and 12 assists for 31 total points. Tyler Wyatt is next on the Cardinals with 20 points behind seven scores and 13 helpers.
  • Tyler Levine (8G-11A-19P), Spencer Fox (7G-12A-19P), Vincent Lima (7G-11A-18P), Andy Espinoza (3G-12A-15P), Chad Malinowski (3G-11A-14P) and Tyler Kobryn (7G-4A-11P) round out the Cardinals who have 10-or-more points on the winter.
  • Tim Sestak (14-4-2), the 2019 NESCAC Player of the Year, has started 20 contests for the Cardinals, recording 577 stops to boast seven shut outs, a .946 save percentage and a 1.65 goals against average.

SCOUTING TRINITY
No. 1 Seed (17-3-5, 12-2-4 NESCAC) - Schedule/Roster/Stats

  • With 10 goals and 14 helpers for 24 points, Lucas Michaud leads the Bantams' offensive attack, while Dylan Healey and Michael Grande are next on the team with seven goals and 12 assists (19 points) and seven goals and 11 assists (18 points), respectively.
  • Ryan Pfeffer (11G-6A-17P) and Barclay Gammill (7G-10A-17P) have each eclipsed the 15-point mark on the season, while seven other Bantams have reached the 10-point threshold.
  • In goal, Tedy Loughborough (10-2-2) has racked up 345 saves in 15 starts to own a .938 save percentage and a 1.61 goals against average, while Jonah Capriotti have logged 248 stops in 11 starts to boast a .925 save percentage and a 1.81 GAA.

SCOUTING HAMILTON
No. 4 Seed (13-9-3, 10-5-3 NESCAC) - Schedule/Roster/Stats

  • Potting 11 goals and dishing out 11 assists, Jason Brochu leads the Continentals with 22 points, while Rory Gagnon is next on the team with eight scores and 10 helpers for 18 points.
  • Nick Rutigliano (3G-14A-17P) and Nick Ursitti (7G-8A-14P) have each proved to be playmakers for Hamilton, while Sterling Bray, Joey Moore, Jon Stickel and Bennett Morrison each boast 11-plus point seasons.
  • In between the pipes, Anthony Tirabassi (11-7-3) has registered 620 saves in 21 starts to own a .914 save percentage and a 2.73 goals against average.

BY THE NUMBERS

   No. 5 Amherst   No. 2 Wesleyan   No. 1 Trinity   No. 4 Hamilton 
 Games 24 25 25 25
 Goals 71 83 85 69
 Goals/Game 2.96 3.32 3.40 2.76
 Assists 121 119 135 112
 Total Points 192 202 220 181
 Goals Against 49 47 43 70
 Saves 585 696 593 729
 Save % .923 .937 .932 .912
 GAA 2.01 1.86 1.69 2.75
 Power Play % 19.0% 16.5% 23.2% 17.4%
 Penalty Kill % 90.6% 89.3% 88.3% 85.7%
 Penalties/Game   4.6 3.7 4.8 3.7


2019 NESCAC Men's Hockey Championship
Semifinals - Saturday, March 2 - at Trinity
No. 3 Amherst vs. No. 2 Wesleyan - 1 p.m.
No. 4 Hamilton at No. 1 Trinity - 4:30 p.m.

Championship - Sunday, March 3 - at Trinity
Semifinal Winners - 2 p.m.

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