Men's Ice Hockey Falls to Southern New Hampshire in Battle for First Place in NE10

Men's Ice Hockey Falls to Southern New Hampshire in Battle for First Place in NE10

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team lost a 5-0 decision to Southern New Hampshire University on Friday evening in Cairns Arena, yielding each goal during a pair of scoring flurries in the first and third periods. The Purple Knights are 4-4-1 overall and 3-2 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Penmen are 4-3-2 and 3-2-1, vaulting the hosts to take over first place in the league.

Junior Chris Johnson (Duxbury, Mass./Pomfret School) made 19 saves for the Purple and Gold, while sophomore Tim Decker (Liverpool, N.Y./Canterbury School) stopped 11 shots and took the loss. Junior Sam D'Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School) went 9-for-12 on faceoffs while blocking three shots.

First-year Kyle Galloway scored twice for Southern New Hampshire, while senior Kyle Valliere and juniors Joseph Berardi and Artem Efimov-Barakov also tallied. Senior Ryan Slatky made 24 saves.

Decker made a pair of stops during a Penmen power play that kicked off at 4:32 of the first period, including denying first-year Griffin Connor's redirection on the doorstep at 5:11. Slatky made a tough save of his own at 11:15, as senior Sam Finkelstein (South Burlington, Vt./Rice Memorial Prep) tipped sophomore Hadan Jordan's (Colorado Spring, Colo./Boston Bandits) blast from the blue line.

Southern New Hampshire put three goals on the board in the final 3:49 of the stanza, all during a 1:23 span. After a giveaway in neutral ice, sophomore Brett Strawn led an odd-man rush into the Purple Knight zone, where Decker stopped an initial shot with his blocker, but Valliere cleaned up the rebound at the left post with 16:11 gone. Just 50 seconds later, junior Anthony Gandolfi's shot from the right point was tipped into the upper left corner of the net by Berardi. At 17:34, Galloway completed the flurry by sending home a wrist shot from the slot.

Johnson came off the bench to stop all 12 shots sent his way in the second period, including coming out to challenge and deny Efimov-Barakov's shot from the right circle at 6:30. The Purple Knights had a chance to get on the board at 11:58 when first-year Brandon Mitchell (North Scituate, R.I./Pomfret School) picked up a loose puck in neutral ice and rushed into the visitors' zone with a defender closely trailing, but his attempt to go five-hole was turned away. Johnson blockered away redshirt sophomore Ryan Spagnoli's shot from the right circle at 13:53 after the Penman took a pass from behind the net, and the 3-0 score stood at the second intermission.

Efimov-Barakov extended the lead at 4:56 of the third period, hammering home a rebound on the doorstep during a power play. Galloway followed at 7:14, taking a loose puck and racing into the hosts' zone, where he deked Johnson and scored on the backhand. First-year Paul McAuliffe (Newton, Mass./Kimball Union Academy) nearly broke the shutout but was stopped on a quick shot at the right post at 13:00, and classmate Sel Narby's (Huntington, N.Y./Connecticut Junior Rangers) high one-timer from the left circle during a power play at 15:03 was turned away by a moving Slatky.

The Purple Knights play their final home game of 2017 tomorrow against Castleton University at 4 p.m.