SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - In a rematch of the 2017 Northeast-10 Conference Championship title game, the Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team fell to Assumption College, 4-2, on Saturday in Cairns Arena. The Purple Knights, who had been the only NE10 team remaining with a perfect league record, slipped to 3-3-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference, while the Greyhounds are 5-5-1 and 2-2-1. Assumption had also won last spring's championship contest, 3-2 in overtime.
Juniors Sam D'Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School) and Nic Hermary (Coquitlam, British Columbia/Melfort Mustangs) scored for the Purple and Gold, while senior Eric Salzillo (Johnston, R.I./Boston Bandits) finished a team-best 10-of-20 on faceoffs. Sophomore Tim Decker (Liverpool, N.Y./Canterbury School) made 23 saves. Senior Nathan Foice (Essex, Vt./The Winchendon School) and sophomore Hadan Jordan (Colorado Springs, Colo./Boston Bandits) both blocked three shots.
Junior Peter McDonagh tallied two goals and an assist for Assumption, while classmate Dante Tomassini and sophomore John McDonagh both scored. Classmate David Zulauf turned aside 35 shots.
The Purple Knights held a 15-9 edge in first-period shots, but the Greyhounds cracked the scoring column first. During a power play at 10:25, Tomassini picked the right corner of the net on a slap shot from the left point to put his team ahead. However, Hermary knotted the game just 1:44 later amid a 4-on-4 sequence, knocking home a rebound near the right post after senior Sam Finkelstein (South Burlington, Vt./Rice Memorial Prep) had an initial shot stopped. First-year Sel Narby (Huntington, N.Y./Connecticut Junior Rangers) also assisted.
Peter McDonagh accounted for the lone goal of the second period, putting the Greyhounds up for good at 4:38. After senior Brian Pickett poked the puck out of a scrum on the boards in his defensive zone, McDonagh collected and raced down the ice and went 1-on-1 with a Purple Knight defender before firing from the left circle and going 5-hole on Decker.
Assumption scored again at 8:30 of the final stanza, as junior Matt Damelio fired a pass from the goal-line extended that Decker collected but couldn't control, and John McDonagh pushed the puck in. The Purple and Gold drew within 3-2 at 14:12, with Jordan's shot from the right point being tipped in by D'Antuono from the slot. Sophomore John Barry (South Boston, Mass./Deerfield Academy) also assisted. With the Purple Knights on a power play late in regulation, Salzillo send a backdoor pass to the left post where Finkelstein had a one-timer stopped by a moving Zulauf at 15:45.
With Decker pulled for an extra attacker and a little more than a minute to go, Peter McDonagh blocked a Purple and Gold player's shot from the point before picking up the loose puck in neutral ice and skating in alone on the vacated goal to net an icing marker at 18:52.
The Purple Knights visit Stonehill College on Tuesday at 7 p.m.