ANGOLA, IND. -- The Trine men's NCAA hockey team scored three unanswered goals to pull within one of visiting Concordia University (Wis.), but could not go all the way falling 4-3.
Sophomore Brett Young (Livonia, Mich.) got the start in goal for the Thunder and gave up three goals to the visiting Falcons in the first period. Concordia took the 3-0 lead into the first intermission.
Trine started the second period by putting in freshman Aaron Brickman (St. Louis, Mo.) who would allow just one goal in at the five-minute mark of the second period. The goal, scored by Nick Guiney, gave the Falcons a 4-0 lead at the time.
In the tenth minute of the period, the Thunder finally found their offense. Freshman defender Blake Robertson (South Lyon, Mich.) started the play passing the puck from the point to senior forward Lucas Bombardier (Pittsford, Vt.) who fired a shot from in close to the net. The Falcon goaltender pulled off the save, but the puck squirted past him and stalled just outside the net. Freshman forward Sammy Nardicchio (Commerce, Mich.) came in from the goalie's backside and slapped the puck into the net. Both teams went scoreless the rest of the period, entering the intermission with Trine trailing 4-1.
In the sixth minute of the final stanza, freshman forward Niko Moulakelis (Prairie View, Ill.) pulled the puck out of a scrum in the corner and carried it past the blueline. Moulakelis passed the puck diagonally across center ice to a sprinting Carmine Taffo (Staten Island, N.Y.) who brought the puck into the offensive zone and put the puck over the goaltender's shoulder. The goal was Taffo's third of the season.
Two minutes later in the period, the Thunder found themselves with a man advantage following an elbowing penalty on the Falcons. A minute into the powerplay, Robertson held the puck in the defensive zone and passed it up the right side to senior forward Ryan Murray (Farmington Hills, Mich.) who moved the puck across the blueline. A Falcon defender was waiting and laid a strong hit on Murray causing the puck to pop out toward the goal, where freshman forward Alex Johanson (Skokie, Ill.) picked it up and fired a shot wide of the net. The puck ricocheted back to the side of the net where Murray was able to push it past the goalie's backside for the goal. Murray's fourth goal of the season pulled the Thunder within one with a 4-3 score.
Unfortunately, the goal was the final of the game and, despite pulling the goaltender in favor of an extra attacker, the Thunder were unable to tie the game before the end of regulation.
Trine falls to 6-16-2 overall and 2-13-2 in the NCHA after the loss. Concordia locks themselves into the second seed in the NCHA South Division after improving to 16-6-2 and 12-5 in the NCHA.
The Thunder finish off the season tomorrow, February 10, at 4 p.m. with a contest against MSOE. Following the game, Trine will recognize their two senior players on the ice.