MANCHESTER, N.H. - In a match-up between last year's Northeast-10 Conference men's ice hockey regular-season co-champions, Saint Michael's College opened NE10 play with a 5-1 victory over Saint Anselm College on Friday evening at Sullivan Arena.
Now 1-1-1 on the year, the Purple Knights snapped a six-game series losing streak, winning for the first time since Jan. 31, 2014, also in Manchester, and by the largest margin since a 5-1 triumph on March 8, 2008, in the NE10 Championship title game. Saint Michael's had never won by as many goals on Saint Anselm's home ice in 17 prior road meetings. The Hawks, who slipped to 1-1 while also playing their first NE10 game, had not lost a home contest by more than two goals in nearly three years, on Feb. 14, 2015.
Junior Nic Hermary (Coquitlam, British Columbia/Melfort Mustangs) and sophomore Hadan Jordan (Colorado Springs, Colo./Boston Bandits) both collected a goal and an assist, with Jordan notching his first college points while going plus-4. Seniors Sam Finkelstein (South Burlington, Vt./Rice Memorial Prep) and Eric Salzillo (Johnston, R.I./Boston Bandits) and first-year Zach Sullivan (Weymouth, Mass./Walpole Express) also scored, with Sullivan potting his first goal as a collegian, and juniors Patrick Doherty (Tewksbury, Mass./Middlesex Black Bears) and Keegan Finn (Yarmouth, Mass./Bay State Breakers) both dished off two assists. Sophomore Tim Decker (Liverpool, N.Y./Canterbury School) made 26 saves
Sophomore Jake Grade scored for Saint Anselm, and junior Colin Soucy had 11 stops in the opening 40 minutes.
In their first of 18 league contests during a revamped NE10 slate, including one of three against Saint Anselm, the Purple Knights were doubled up in shots during the first period, 10-5, but got on the board first when Sullivan tallied after 4:58. Hermary and junior Sam D'Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School) assisted. Saint Anselm killed 1:10 of a power play that began at 9:15 by blocking a pair of shots, and the Hawks later benefited from two Saint Michael's penalties 28 seconds apart to go on a 4-on-3 advantage. Just six seconds into the edge, Grade knotted the contest at 10:59. The visitors went on a power play at 14:03, with sophomore William Santangeli (Oakville, Ontario/Saint Mark's School) sending the lone shot on goal in that time, and Soucy making the save.
Saint Michael's scored three times in the second period, all in the final 8:25, to go ahead for good. Salzillo netted the game-winner at 11:35, with Finn and junior Jack Ouellette (Arlington, Mass./Dexter School) picking up assists. A defenseman, Ouellette now leads the squad in assists (4) and points (4). After a Decker save at one end, the Purple Knights scored again at 15:53, with Finkelstein being fed by Jordan and Doherty. Saint Anselm went on a power play 23 seconds later while looking to chip the deficit to one, but Hermary scored a short-handed marker with three ticks left, at 18:13, and the visitors took a 4-1 advantage into the final stanza.
The visitors edged the hosts, 13-11, in third-period shots, while Jordan was the lone player to find the net, tallying at 15:23 thanks to helpers by Doherty and Finn. Decker worked an 11-save, shutout stanza.
The Purple Knights continue NE10 play by visiting Franklin Pierce University next Saturday at 5 p.m.