MANCHESTER, N.H. – A Finn McDonough hat trick let the way for the Big Red T on Wednesday afternoon at JFK Coliseum as Trinity’s 5-0 victory over Keene earned them advancement in the 2021-’22 NHIAA Division I Boys’ Hockey Tournament.
Tyler Manning’s redirection in the crease gave the Pioneers their first goal 4:56 into the contest and McDonough would grab his first goal before the first intermission.
McDonough added his second goal near the middle of the second period to give Trinity a 3-0 lead and he’d add an assist on an Aidan Palmeter goal 25 seconds into the third before bringing home his final score just under seven-and-a-half minutes later.
Trinity Head Coach Mike Connell expressed some concern over a few Keene scoring chances, but had little to complain about in what ultimately was a dominant Trinity performance, saving extra praise for his first line of McDonough, Palmeter and Cooper Gaudio.
“(Our first line) is never really fell out of sync, which is a tribute to their unselfishness,” he said. “I think those guys were kind of cycling down and dominating their end when they got down there. They got good opportunities all night, so it kind of worked out.
Palmeter, Gaudio and McDonough each ended the night with a trio of helpers, with Aidan Hurley and Will Brauer also contributing assists.
Brendan Heppler also had 20 saves in what was his first ever high school shutout.
Trinity will now head to the Rinks at Exeter on Saturday for a 5:50 p.m. puck drop against the Blue Hawks of Exeter. The two teams met in Manchester on Feb. 21, ending in a 4-3 victory for the visitors.