February 18, 2008

This Week In Saint Michael's College Athletics


COLCHESTER, Vt.- At Cairns Arena, the men's ice hockey team picked up a thrilling come-from-behind 'Senior Day'-win while the women's team hit the road, dropping a pair of contests to two of the top three teams in the ECAC East. In basketball, both the men and women suffered a pair of sweeps at Bryant and at Pace. The ski team was also in action at the Williams Carnival while the Women's Swimming & Diving NEISDA Championships took place at UMass Dartmouth.

Men's Ice Hockey (10-11-1, 4-0-0 NE-10):

On 'Senior Day' at Cairns Arena, seniors Dan Anctil (Rochester, N.Y.), Erik Caron (Kanata, Ont.), Matt Hall (Scituate, Mass.) and Andrick Deppmeyer (Claremont, N.H.) were all recognized for their contribution to the Saint Michael's men's ice hockey program over the past four years. Appropriately, the senior Anctil led the Purple Knights to a 4-3 come-from-behind win with two goals and an assist. Entering the third period, Saint Michael's trailed 3-1, but thanks to goals from junior John Burns (Sandwich, Mass.) and sophomore Patrick McGuirk (Hingham, Mass.), Anctil was setup by McGuirk for the game-winner with less than nine minutes to play.

To open the weekend at home, Saint Michael's gave up three first-period goals in a 6-1 loss to Castleton State, a team that came to South Burlington having gone undefeated in six straight and currently riding a five-game win-streak after knocking off Norwich on Saturday. While junior Tyler Bilton (Penticton, B.C.) pushed aside 33 shots in the contest, classmate Chris Healey (Salem, N.H.) scored the lone goal from Hall and Caron.

With three remaining regular season games, the Purple Knights look to sweep the Northeast-10 Conference regular season on Tuesday, February 26 at home versus Stonehill College for a first-round bye in the playoffs and home-ice advantage throughout.

Women's Ice Hockey (6-14-1, 6-10-1 ECAC East):

On Friday, the Purple Knights suffered a 7-2 loss at league-rival and second-ranked in the ECAC East, Manhattanville College, before falling 3-1 at third-ranked Holy Cross to close out the weekend.

At Manhattanville, senior Gabrielle Bourgeois (New Haven, Vt.) tallied a goal and an assist for the Purple Knights while freshman Alysia Goldman (Bollston Lake, N.Y.) made her second career start, blocking 41 shots including 16 in both the second and third periods. In Worcester on Saturday, junior Amy Schoon (Southborough, Mass.) tallied her third goal of the season while Goldman pushed aside 24 shots, 12 of which came in the first period.

The women, sitting in a tie for eighth in the ECAC East, will close out their regular season at home this week versus Plymouth State and Castleton State before the ECAC Open Tournament begins on March 1.

Women's Basketball (13-11, 9-10 NE-10):

For a typically strong defensive team that had allowed less than 60 points per game going into the week, the women's basketball team suffered a pair of road losses at Bryant and Pace, giving up 70 points in each contest.

At Bryant, the Purple Knights were outscored 15-2 to start the game, and could not overcome a 19-point halftime deficit to fall 70-41, equaling their lowest offensive output of the season. Sophomore Michelle Otey (Southborough, Mass.) was the lone player to score in double figures, netting 10 points, eight of which came in the second half. The Purple Knights shot just 31 percent from the field in the contest, and were out-rebounded, 48-30.

Over the weekend at Pace, Saint Michael's faced yet another double-digit halftime deficit (40-26) too much to overcome despite a perfect 8-of-8 from the field and game-high 18 points from Otey. Falling 70-59, Saint Michael's outdid the Setters in the second half, but 20 first-half turnovers proved too many in the team's second straight loss. Coming off the bench, freshman Logan Pintka (Niskayuna, N.Y.) shot 7-of-8 from the line to score 13 points and grab six boards in just 21 minutes of play.

After the weekend, the women are one half-game out of eighth place in the Northeast-10 and hosting a first-round playoff contest.

Men's Basketball (7-16, 5-14 NE-10):

After a promising win at home over Southern Connecticut last week, the Saint Michael's men dropped a pair of road games at Bryant and Pace, concluding their regular season road schedule. In 13th among Northeast-10 schools, Saint Michael's looks to clinch the 12th and final playoff spot with three straight home games where they are 3-5 on the season.

On Wednesday, the Purple Knights had four players in double-figures, but trailing 43-30 at the half, Saint Michael's could not recover, falling to the Bulldogs, 78-56. Leading the way for Saint Michael's was juniors Mike Iola (West Newbury, Mass.) and Chris White (Windham, N.H.) who had 13 and 12, respectively. For White, he matched a career-high off the bench, shooting 5-of-9 while grabbing a game-high eight rebounds.

In Pleasantville, New York on Saturday, the men--much like the women--found themselves in a considerable halftime hole, falling behind 45-24 at the break. Saint Michael's came out firing in the second half with a 14-4 run, but a team-high 20 points from senior co-captain James Sorrentine (Pawtucket, R.I.) and 19 from Iola on 5-of-7 shooting from deep fell short against the third-ranked offense (77.9 points/game) in the Northeast-10.

Facing the ominous task of sweeping the final three home games in order to make a push for the playoffs, Saint Michael's will have to knock off the undefeated (24-0), regular-season champion Bentley Falcons on Saturday. Having now won 51 consecutive regular season contests, Bentley has also been the top-ranked team in all of Division-II basketball for 11-straight weeks.

Skiing

The Saint Michael's College ski team finished in 10th place on Saturday at the two-day Williams College Winter Carnival, held at Jiminy Peak and Prospect Mountain. The Purple Knights were led by sophomore Brad Harden (McConnellsville, N.Y.) and freshman April Hawman (Clifton Springs, N.Y.) who both captured 18th-place in the men's and women's slalom event, respectively. The Purple Knights close out the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association season February 22-23, as the Purple Knights compete in the EISA Championships, hosted by Middlebury College.

Swimming & Diving

The women's swimming and diving team competed at the three-day, 21-team NEISDA Championships over the weekend at UMass Dartmouth, coming away with a seventh-place finish. Leading the way for Saint Michael's was senior Kerry Slade (Roslindale, Mass.) who finished ninth in the 100-yard Individual Medley and 10th in the 50-yard Backstroke. Freshman Caitie Watt (Cumberland, Maine) swam closely behind Slade with a 12th-place finish in the 50-yard Backstroke in the women's final meet of the 2007-08 season.

This Week's Schedule:

Tue. Feb. 19 Women's Basketball vs. Franklin Pierce* 5:30 p.m.

Tue. Feb. 19 Men's Basketball vs. Franklin Pierce* 7:30 p.m.

Fri. Feb. 22 Men's Ice Hockey @ Bowdoin^ 7:00 p.m.

Fri. Feb. 22 Women's Ice Hockey vs. Plymouth St.^ 7:00 p.m.

Fri. Feb. 22 Skiing @ Middlebury TBA

Fri. Feb. 22 Men's Swimming @ NEISDA Championships TBA

Sat. Feb. 23 Women's Basketball vs. Bentley* 1:30 p.m.

Sat. Feb. 23 Women's Ice Hockey vs. Castleton St.^ 3:00 p.m.

Sat. Feb. 23 Men's Basketball vs. Bentley* 3:30 p.m.

Sat. Feb. 23 Men's Ice Hockey @ Colby^ 4:00 p.m.

Sat. Feb. 23 Skiing @ Middlebury TBA

Sat. Feb. 23 Men's Swimming @ NEISDA Championships TBA

Sun. Feb. 24 Men's Swimming @ NEISDA Championships TBA

denotes home contest

*Northeast-10 Conference game

^ECAC East Conference game