@ACBulldoghockey Captures Lightning in a Bottle in 8-1 Throttle of Visiting Thunder

Freshman Nikita Babintsev had 21 saves in his first career start during Adrian's 8-1 NCHA-South victory over visiting Trine in the Bulldogs' home debut Saturday. (Action photo by Patrick Stewart)
Freshman Nikita Babintsev had 21 saves in his first career start during Adrian's 8-1 NCHA-South victory over visiting Trine in the Bulldogs' home debut Saturday. (Action photo by Patrick Stewart)

ADRIAN, Mich.--Senior captain Mathew Thompson  and senior assistant captain Taylor McCloy each recorded three points to back a 21-save performance by freshman goalie Nikita Babintsev in his collegiate debut as the nationally-ranked Adrian men's hockey team rolled to an 8-1 victory Saturday over visiting Trine in a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association contest. In their home debut, the Bulldogs sweep their weekend series from the Thunder who are a first-year NCAA Division III program.  

More details to come later...

THE BASICS
= Final Score: Adrian College 8, Trine University 1

= Location: Arrington Ice Arena; Adrian, Mich.

= Records: Adrian Bulldogs 5-1 overall (5-1 NCHA South Division); Trine Thunder 0-7-1 overall (0-5-1 NCHA South Division)

= National Rankings: Adrian--#2 D3hockey.com, #2 USCHO.com polls

TOP 'DAWGS
= McCloy had a pair of goals and an assist, while Thompson scored a goal and made two assists.

= Babintsev posted 21 saves on 22 shots he faced in his first career start for the Bulldogs.

= Bulldogs who also registered multi-point games include junior defensemen Braden Hellems (1g, 1a, 5 sog), Cory Dunn (2a, +2), junior forward Bryan Yim (1g, 1a) and senior left wing Kyle Brothers (2a, 4 sog).

= Junior Connor Armour and Yim controlled the face-off circle for Adrian--which won 48 of 87 draws--by going 12-for-16 and 10-for-17, respectively.

= Adrian also got goals from junior defenseman Cameron Cooper, freshman blueliner Joshua Owings and sophomore right wing Ryan Cusin.

THE OPPOSITION
= Carmine Taffo scored the Thunder's lone goal.

= Goalies Brett Young had 37 saves on 43 shots before giving way in the third period to Vinny Evans who had seven stops on nine shots over the last 8 minutes and 32 seconds.

= Ryan Murray won 17 of 30 face-offs and tied for the team lead for shots on goal with Christian Karbler at four.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Adrian outshot Trine 52 to 22 for the contest and never trailed.

= McCloy got the scoring started midway through the opening stanza on a feed from sophomore forward Matt McNair. Brothers also received credit for an assist on the play at 10:36. Then 1:54 later, Cooper made it 2-0 off a failed TU clear when his shot from the left point went through a maze of players in front of the goal and into the left corner of the net.

= Taffo spoiled the shutout bid with only 1:16 left in the first period, cutting the deficit in half. Jackson Tucker blocked a shot from the point, then tipped the puck up the ice for Taffo who went forehand to backhand to slide the puck past Babintsev's right leg pad.

= But that was the closest the Bulldogs would let the Thunder get, adding two goals in the second period and tacking on four more in the final 20 minutes. Among the highlights during the 6-0 run, Thompson and McCloy had rebound goals in the second and third periods, respectively, and Owings potted his first career collegiate goal.

= Adrian was 2-for-3 on the power play while the Bulldogs killed off all 10 of the Thunder's extra-man opportunities.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
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UP NEXT
= Adrian will travel to Plymouth on Wednesday (7 p.m.) for an exhibition game against the U.S. National Team Development Program Under 18 team at USA Hockey Arena. On Oct. 28 in Adrian, Team USA U18s edged the Bulldogs 4-2.

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