There were three games last weekend, including the defending national champion and three first-time participants in the national tournament, that all finished with perhaps a bit less drama than expected.
Two first-timers won their matchups and this year’s tournament will see a new national champion as Trinity exits in the first round at the hands of Massachusetts-Boston.
Here is the wrap-up on the three first-round games:
Massachusetts-Boston @ Trinity
The Beacons, in their first NCAA tournament game, built a 3-0 lead through two periods on goals from Mike Thomson, Derek Colucci and Zach Lindsay, and then rode 17 third-period saves from goaltender Billy Faust on their way to a 4-0 win over the defending national champions.
Colucci added an empty-net goal to finish with two goals on the night and Trinity outshot the visitors by a 37-30 margin, but could not solve Faust.
Salem State @ Williams
Apparently, the week off from play awaiting their at-large bid did not hurt Williams as the offense exploded behind Colby Cretella’s goal and two assists in a 7-1 drubbing of Salem State in the Ephs’ first NCAA tournament game.
George Hunkele got the home team on the board with less than a minute remaining on the clock and Williams opened up the game with four goals in the second period, including Hunkele’s second of the game and additional goals from Joe Welch, Cretella and Matt Werner’s first of the season. The Ephs held Salem State to just 19 shots with Michael Casale being the only Viking to solve goalie Michael Pinios in the third period.
Salve Regina @ Geneseo
Geneseo’s Anthony Marra and Trevor Hills did in just 33 seconds what no team in their prior three games did to Salve Regina when they scored on goalie Blake Wojtala and started an offensive show for the pair that totaled 10 points between them in the Knights’ 7-1 win over the Seahawks.
Marra scored a hat trick and added three assists, while Hills scored twice and added a pair of assists for Geneseo, who went 3-for-6 with the man advantage and cruised to the first-round win. Devin McDonald made 28 saves for the Knights, surrendering just a single power-play goal to Jonathan Felteau in the second period.
Colby Cretella, Williams – scored one goal and added two assists in Williams’ 7-1 first-round win over Salem State.
Anthony Marra, Geneseo – recorded six points on three goals and three assists for Geneseo in their 7-1 win over ECAC Northeast champion Salve Regina on Saturday night.
Derek Colucci, Massachusetts-Boston – scored two goals for the Beacons as they knocked off defending champion Trinity 4-0 in their first NCAA appearance.
The quarterfinals are now set for Saturday, March 19, with Williams at Geneseo, Massachusetts-Boston at Hobart, Augsburg at St. Norbert and Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Adrian.