Following this weekend’s 9-2 and 7-0 wins over Plymouth State and Suffolk, Trinity head coach Matt Greason was very pleased with how his team played in their return from the holiday break. While there is still a lot of hockey left to play, he believes his team is both heathy and hungry for success in the second half of the season.
“I was really pleased with how we played coming out of the break,” said Greason. “It was a bit surprising that we had the offensive output that we did against two pretty good teams, but I think that is indicative of how this group was focused after a good break to get back to the effort on the ice and focus on being a better team every day. It is tough at the D-III level to generate offense and we don’t have the “Jack Eichels” out there generating a lot of goals by themselves. We like to play fast and heavy and leverage are great depth to wear teams down. We like to keep our forwards in the 12-17-minute range a night and so far, it is working out in keeping guys fresh and productive.”
The forwards have been led by sophomore Lucas Michaud and senior Barclay Gammill who now have junior Devin Moore as the third member of their line. Michaud and Gammill are tied for the team lead in goals with five apiece and the line combined for seven goals and nine assists this weekend in the two wins.
“Lucas has certainly found the consistency in his game this season and has established something special with Barclay,” noted Greason. “Devin has joined them on the line, and they are playing very well together. Lucas has leveraged his size to wear down opponents and has been very good in the face-off circle. That line is playing well but we like our depth and ability to get secondary scoring from a lot of different players.”
Trinity also boasts what may be one of the best defensive units in the country led by senior Liam Feeney and junior Michael Grande. The group is solid top to bottom and Feeney and Grande each play a significant role in helping the Bantams transition from defense to offense quickly.
Liam probably plays about 25 minutes a game for us,” stated Greason. “He plays a regular shift, power play and penalty kill and whatever else we ask him to do. He is a one-man breakout and has so much experience back there since he was a member of the team that went to the national championship in 2016. He is coming up on 100 games played for Trinity which says a lot about his durability and consistency from the time that he came to Trinity. Michael [Grande] is just superb offensively and is the quarterback of our power play. He may be the best there is in orchestrating the unit with the man advantage and our special team numbers (26% PPG) so far show that special skill.”
So, with a full and healthy roster, a great start to the second half and NESCAC battles on the horizon what could possibly have a coach worried about a 9-1-0 record and number one ranking in the national poll?
“We just need to focus on the things we can control and block out the other stuff like the rankings,” stated Greason. “We want to stay hungry since we haven’t won anything on January 7th. Even some of our seniors who have been to the Frozen Four haven’t won it, so there is a lot of desire to win our league and hopefully play for more in March. Right now, being healthy we have three pretty good forwards, a defenseman and a goalie some nights that aren’t dressed to play on game nights so the compete level is high for ice time and I think that is why some guys choose to come here because they want to play with good players. There is a lot of hockey to be played starting with two pretty good teams on the road in our league this weekend. We need to be ready to compete every time we play.”
The Bantams travel to Middlebury and Williams this weekend as they will play all NESCAC opponents in their remaining 14 games on the schedule.
“Middlebury is playing great and believing in their game,” noted Greason. “They have already knocked off a No. 1 ranked team [Norwich] and I am sure would like to do it again this weekend. It is always tough to play in their building and there will be more of that theme on Saturday, but our focus is Friday in Vermont.”