ANGOLA, Ind. -- Freshman forward Gianni Vitali (Grand Rapids, Mich.) notched two goals and assist as the Trine University men's hockey team defeated visiting Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) by the score of 4-1.
The Thunder and Vitali started the scoring in the first taking the 1-0 lead in the 16th minute of the period. Freshman Brent Jones (Brighton Mich.) started the play by poking the puck away from a Raider defender in the offensive zone. Fellow freshman Garrett Hallford (McKinney, Texas) collected it and carried it behind the net before rocketing a pass to Vitali in front. Vitali put a shot right over the goalie's shoulder to notch his first goal of the evening. Trine would take the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
They would make the lead two just four minutes into the second period. With the Thunder up a man, Vitali fired a shot from the blue-line which deflected off a defender in front of the net. Junior defender Henry Hearon (Chicago, Ill.) collected it there and passed it in close to the net where freshman TJ Delaney finished off the play with his third goal of the season.
It looked like Trine would take the 2-0 lead into the second intermission but in the 19th minute, MSOE cut the lead to one with a goal of their own. The teams would end the period with the Thunder leading 2-1.
Vitali scored his final goal of the game just 25 seconds into the final stanza as he took a took a pass from sophomore Ben Lau (Prospect, Ky.) and carried it behind the net. He finished the play himself with a spectacular wrap-around goal to give the Thunder the 3-1 lead.
Trine iced the game in 19th minute when sophomore Michael Meisenbacher (Basking Ridge, N.J.) tallied an empty net goal, with Delaney recording the assist. The game would end with Trine winning 4-1.
Junior Brett Young (Livonia, Mich.) played the game in net for the Thunder and finished with 21 saves.
Trine improves to 8-9-2 overall and 4-7-1 in Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) play. They will look to continue their unbeaten streak when they travel to face Finlandia University on Friday, Jan. 25. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.