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Bergstrom, Michel propel Mules to victory over Trinity in OT thriller

HARTFORD, Conn. – The men's lacrosse team traveled to Trinity for what would prove to be one of the most electric games of the season. With the Mules and Bantams tied in the standings and needing wins to secure playoff berths, the urgency for both teams was palpable. The game saw six comebacks as well as tie scores at the end of the every quarter, but ended with Colby storming the field in overtime. Here is how it happened.

Colby took the first lead of the game when CJ Hassan buried a goal just under six minutes into play, but as would be the case almost all night, Trinity had an answer, and scored two minutes later. Charlie Lynch gave Colby the lead again off of a feed from Lane Kadish, but another Trinity goal forty seconds later erased the Mules' advantage. After a Trinity penalty, Colby midfielder Colton Michel scored on a pass from Hassan, but the Bantams finished the quarter with a goal just two seconds from the horn to tie the game at three.

In the second quarter, Trinity came out aggressively and took a commanding lead. The Bantams, who held Colby scoreless for the first eight minutes of the quarter, scored four times in a row and suddenly led 7-3. However, as he would all night, Riley Bergstrom sparked a run to help the Mules storm back. Bergstrom scored an unassisted goal just over eight minutes into the quarter before finding Max Cushman ten seconds later to push Colby to within two goals of Trinity. Jack Rickards buried a goal and then Bergstrom found Charlie Lynch, who scored his second of the half. Lynch's goal tied the game, 8-8, and aggressive defense and flashy goaltending from both teams would keep it that way until halftime.

After Max Cushman scored a minute into the third quarter to give the Mules the lead, Trinity turned up the pressure. While Colby did not manage another shot on goal in the quarter, the Bantams peppered them at Colby goalie C.J. Layton. Layton more than weathered the onslaught, doing his part to keep the Mules in contention by saving eight of nine shots, leaving the game tied at the end of the third.

Trinity took control again with Max DeLaMater's goal a minute into the fourth quarter before padding its lead with two more before Colby could find any offense. As the Bantams' sideline started to celebrate, the Mules geared up for another attack. With six minutes left in regulation, Jack Rickards scored on an assist from Charlie Lynch to help the Mules to within two goals of Trinity. Riley Bergstrom scored 30 seconds later and then found the net again on Rickards assist to tie the game. Sparkling play by Layton as the quarter closed sealed the Mules' resilient comeback and the game remained tied at the end of regulation.

Both teams came out aggressively in overtime, trying desperately to score quickly in the sudden death period. Players slung shots wide and off the posts in their efforts to secure victory for their team. Finally, Colton Michel buried the game-winning goal off of a feed from Riley Bergrstrom to clinch the win for the Mules. Colby won the gritty, back and forth game by a final score of 12-11 in their first overtime game of the season.

The victory moves Colby to 8-5 overall and gives them a share of sixth place in the NESCAC. The Mules play their final regular season game at Bates College on Wednesday, 4/24, at 4:00PM (EST).