Trinity Women's Ice Hockey Excited For Another Post-Season Push In 2017-18
Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College women's ice hockey squad, led by Head Coach Keith Maurice (3rd season), returns 17 players from last year's squad that posted went 7-3-1 over its last 11 games and finished in the top half of the New England Small College Athletic Conference. The Bantams will look to make some noise this winter, as the 2016-17 campaign begins with a two-game road series against the No. 6-ranked Middlebury Panthers on Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18. Led by a senior class that has played in three consecutive NESCAC Tournaments and won the league title as rookies, Trinity is eager to advance further into the post-season after suffering a 2-0 setback to Amherst in the NESCAC Quarterfinals in March. Captains Kelcie Finn (Weymouth, Mass.), Melissa Maffeo (Melrose, Mass.), and Hannah Oganeku (Castle Pines, Colo.) reach provide leadership and a nose for the goal, while fellow senior Sydney Belinskas (Port Orange, Fla.) gives the Bantams one of the top netminders in NCAA Division III.
"It has been a productive pre-season where we have seen the veterans show great leadership and the young players have brought great energy to the group as well as a great deal of talent," said Maurice. "The younger players have pushed the upper classes in the weight room and on the ice. We have a large class of nine seniors who know that it will up to them to make another post-season run."
Finn led the Bantams offensively last winter with 13 points (8g, 5a), and will make her season debut on Saturday after finishing up her stellar field hockey career last weekend in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Maffeo is a speedy forward who has scored 14 goals with 13 assists when healthy over her first three seasons, while fellow seniors Tasha Adams (Reston, Va.), capable at forward and defense, Caroline Howell (Lyme, N.H.), particularly impressive in pre-season, and Kayla O'Connor (Springfield, Mass) are excited to team up on Trinity's second line. Sophomore Olivia White (Oakville, Ontario) emerged late in her rookie season as an imposing offensive force and has continued to develop steadily into a top-line forward, and classmate Lauren Mac Master (St. Albert, Alberta) is a crafty wing ready to step into a more prominent role. Dependable junior Chandler Solimine (Pelham, N.Y.) also joined the team this week after the field hockey campaign, while first-years Karinna Cave-Hawkins (Edgewater, Md.), Taylor Peracchio (Wayne, N.J.), and Abby Riskevich (Shakopee, Minn.) have exciting scoring potential, and senior Claire Foran (Greenwich, Conn.) adds additional forward depth.
Oganeku has been a versatile weapon over her first three years, with nine goals and 21 assists to her name, and will be one of several offensive-minded Bantam blueliners on the roster. Sophomores Alex Sinson (Elm Grove, Wisc.) and Taylor Foy (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) both made an impact with their toughness and high skill level last season and should step into even bigger roles this winter, while classmate Maggie Cusick (Chicago, Ill.) brings her skating and scoring skills to the back line in her second year. Both first-year defensive prospects, Julia Lee (Ferguson's Cove, Nova Scotia) and Kayla Milofsky (Concord, Mass.), are dynamic with the ability to put the puck in the net.
Belinskas has led the nation in save percentage in two of her three seasons, including last season when she posted a mark of .957 in 13 games after missing the first half of the year with an injury. With a career GAA of 1.61 and 13 shutouts among the most impressive numbers in her collegiate career, Belinskas gives Trinity a great chance in every game. Senior Jess Thulin(North Reading, Mass.) and sophomore Kai-Lilly Karpman (Playa Del Ray, Calif.) were both more than adequate in six games between them a year ago, and will push for playing time throughout the year.