ANGOLA, Ind. -- Freshman Garrett Hallford (McKinney, Texas) recorded a goal in each period to lead the Trine University men's hockey team to a 5-1 victory over visiting King's (Pa.) College. The hat trick is the first by a men's NCAA hockey player at Trine.
The Thunder started the scoring in the fifth minute of the contest. Sophomore Alex Johanson (Skokie, Ill.) fired a shot from the faceoff circle that was stopped by the Monarchs' goaltender. The rebound stayed directly in front of the net where freshman Austin Stauffer (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) collected it for Trine. Stauffer pushed it back to the backside of the goal where freshman William Casey (Eagle River, Alaska) was waiting to score his third goal of the season.
King's evened the score at one in the tenth minute of the contest on an unassisted goal by Luciano Bucci.
The Monarchs got the chance to take a lead of their own when the Thunder took their first penalty of the contest in the 16th minute of the period. A minute into the penalty found King's working the puck around the offensive zone when a pass went just out of reach at the point leaving it uncontrolled. Hallford scooped up the loose puck and took it the length ice to tally his first goal of the contest and give Trine the 2-1 lead, which they would hold into the first intermission.
The majority of the second period passed without a goal, both team's goalies settling into a rhythm. That changed in the final minute of play when freshman Brent Jones (Brighton, Mich.) came up with a steal in the defensive zone. He would work it down the ice with the help of linemate freshman Gianni Vitali (Grand Rapids, Mich.), who would end up with the puck behind the Monarchs' net. Vitali passed the puck to the front of the net where Hallford was waiting to blast a shot into the goal for his second of the night.
Trine took the 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
Just four minutes into the final period, Hallford finished off his hat trick. Freshman defender Hunter Payment (Monroe, Mich.) came up with the steal in the defensive zone and passed it behind the King's defenders to a wide open Hallford who once again finished off the play giving Trine the 4-1 lead and himself the historic hat trick.
Trine added their final goal of the contest in the 19th minute of the period on a slap shot from sophomore Blake Robertson (South Lyon, Mich.). The goal would be the final one of the game for either team and the Thunder would leave with the 5-1 victory.
Sophomore Brett Young (Livonia, Mich.) got the start in net for Trine where he wasn't asked to do much, facing just ten shots while recording nine saves.
The Thunder improve to 5-8-1, following the victory. They will face off with King's again tomorrow, Jan. 5 at 4 p.m.