WATERVILLE — Sophomore Gerard Maretta scored a pair of goals and added an assist, and the Trinity College men’s hockey team turned early goals in all three periods into a 4-1 win over top-seeded Colby in the New England Small College Athletic Conference championship game Sunday afternoon at Kelley Rink.

The victory was Trinity’s eighth in a row and gave the Bantams their fourth NESCAC title since 2016.

“The past few games, we’ve been scoring early, and I think that really helps the momentum,” said Maretta, the NESCAC’s leading goal scorer with 15 this season. “(Kelley Rink) speaks for itself. We knew the whole school would be here. We told each other to block out the noise. It’s really important not to lose focus when you have a big crowd.”

After Maretta opened the scoring just 3:31 into the first period, Trinity (17-7-1) added a goal 22 seconds into the second and a power-play strike 33 seconds into the third to build a 3-0 lead.

Trinity needed only 86 seconds to get on the scoreboard in Saturday’s semifinal win over Williams, and that came after scoring two goals in the first 22 seconds of a quarterfinal victory over Connecticut College on Feb. 27.

“There’s a lot of this year where we didn’t start on time,” said Trinity Coach Matt Greason, a native of North Bridgton and 1997 graduate of North Yarmouth Academy. “Especially the second half of the year, it’s been a focus to start on time. It takes a little luck, certainly, but the fact that our guys are focused – I was really proud of them.”


Colby (17-6-2), meanwhile, had trouble kicking its game into gear.

The Mules were outshot 10-2 over the first 10 minutes and 32-31 overall. Sophomore goalie J.P. Mella made 30 saves for Trinity and was on the verge of his third straight shutout until a Jack Sullivan goal with 3:23 remaining in regulation from his third straight shutout this postseason.

“We couldn’t get that first goal,” Colby Coach Blaise MacDonald said. “They have a history of scoring early in periods, and we had talked a lot about that. … I thought we played really good for good portions, but it was just a matter if we could get that first goal. I thought with the crowd, if we got that first one, we’d really start to get after it.”

The Mules were 0 for 4 on the power play Sunday and generated just two of their 31 shots with the man advantage.

“The power play’s been a bit of an issue this year,” MacDonald said. “We really looked good on the power play a lot and created a lot of momentum but didn’t score. Recently, we haven’t really created the momentum we would like.”

Maretta got things going for the Bantams when a seemingly benign 2-on-2 rush turned into a breakaway after Colby defenseman Jake Kaplan fell down at his own blue line.


A similar Colby error led to Maretta’s second goal. Colby’s Austen Halpin attempted a cross-ice pass from his own end, which Maretta intercepted before streaking in and beating Mules netminder Andy Beran (28 saves).

Jax Murray’s one-timer from the right circle made it 3-0 in the first minute of the third period.

The Bantams sealed it with Connor Sundquist’s empty netter at 18:41.

“That really solidified the game right there,” Maretta said. “We had ups and downs at the beginning of the year, but the last stretch of the year, we really put a string of solid games together. We’re all excited to see what the future holds for us.”

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