MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Adrian College men's hockey team fell 5-3 on Friday at Ridder Arena to Trinity College in the NCAA Division III Semifinal. The Bulldogs struck first in this one as senior Ryan Lowe rebounded his own shot at 15:50 of the first. Trinity then put the pressure on the Bulldogs with a quick answer at 18:11 as Michael Hawkrigg scored on a shot to the left corner after a defensive turnover. Sean Orlando and Jackson Brewer each had an assist.
In the second period, Adrian usually has the advantage with a plus-33 margin in the middle frame this season. Poor passing by the Bulldogs and opportunistic play by Trinity saw them score three straight to start the second. Elie Vered scored at 4:45 on a nice passing combo from Michael Flynn and Hawkrigg for a 2-1 lead. The next goal really proved costly as Adrian went on the power play and the Bantams got a 2-on-1 which Ethan Holdaway buried at 7:23 short-handed. It was just the third short-handed goal given up by Adrian this season.
Vered was not done as he continued the strong special teams play by Trinity with a power play goal at 9:45 and just like that it was 4-1 in favor of the Bantams. Chris Leone put life back into the bench as he scored on the power play at 13:24 from Adam Davies and Kevin Balas. Leone put home a rebound in front of the net.
Ryan Cole answered to put his team back up at three goals on the power play at 14:55 from Sean Orlando. The third period saw Adrian get a boost goal from freshman Mathew Thompson just 1:36 into the period. He made a great move to drag the puck from backhand to forehand and beat the goaltender five-hole to cut the deficit to 5-3. The Bulldogs battled for the rest of the period and a huge call was a disallowed goal by Brothers with 4:46 to play. The video review ruled that Brothers had used a kicking motion to put the puck past the goal line. That review seemed to really deflate the team as they emptied the net down a pair with around 2:20 left but could not get any closer.
"My hats off to Trinity tonight because they made the plays necessary to win," said head coach Adam Krug. "We made some uncharacteristic mistakes especially in our defensive end and they capitalized. I'm proud of the third period for our team and the way they have represented Adrian College."
The end of the season means 10 seniors played in their final game at Adrian. Captain Duston Hebebrand offered these comments after the game. "Adrian College is a great place to play hockey and go to school. These are the best four years of my life and I would recommend any player looking to play in college to attend Adrian. The guys become your brothers and the memories will last a lifetime."