D3 Does Winter Classic
Last night, two small schools in Connecticut, Trinity College vs. Wesleyan University, faced off at UConn’s Rentschler Field to continue one of the great sports traditions: outdoor hockey. No, there was no 24/7 on HBO leading up to this or a rink full of NHL stars, but there were plenty of eye black and freezing fans to make this event truly unique. These two teams come from the New England Small Colleges Athletic Conference (NESCAC), which prides itself on its old school northeastern traditions. The Connecticut Classic or the Throw Down in the Snow Down, as some called it, invoked the purity of the sport of hockey and gave the respective schools’ students, players and alumni a chance to revel in a lost art. Although the smalls schools were not able to fill up the 40,000 person stadium (each school averages a student body of 2500 undergrad), the crowd remained rambunctious and very boisterous all night. Trinity College, regarded for its academics, but really known its social life, greatly outnumbered the Wesleyan fans. For those that do not know anything about Wesleyan University, they are the wanna-be UC Berkeley of the NESCAC. They have nude dorms, sexology majors (neither as cool as they sound) and tons of aspiring modern artists. As a result, sports and boozing are not their strong suits and the results from the games illustrated their deficiencies.
The first game of the night involved the women’s hockey match where Trinity blitzed the Wesleyan Cardinals 5-1. Early on its looked like the heavy underdog, Wesleyan, could pull off an upset bid at they concluded a tight first period by getting within one goal on a nice individual finish by Kelsey Muller. However, the game finished with Trinity outshooting Wesleyan 39-6 and reminded their in-state rivals of their dominance.
The main event of the night saw the Trinity Bantams win their fifth straight game with a 3-1 effort. This game was much tighter than the women’s game and was in question until Sean McCarthy broke a 1-1 tie in the third period followed by Jordan Quigley’s insurance goal with 5 minutes left to seal it. Neither of the four goals were pretty as the ice was choppy and the bright field lights made it tough for the goalies to see. However, for what the game lacked in finesse, it made up in grit. Both teams were scrapping hard the entire game and combined for 7 penalties. In the stands, things were no less rowdy. The state troopers came into the student section several times and booted two Trinity fans, leading to the inevitable chant, “He’s not that drunk!” from the Trinity fans to “help” their exiting brethren.