WORCESTER, Mass. - Junior defenseman Jack Ouellette (Arlington, Mass./Dexter School) netted the game-winning goal while adding an assist to help the Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team down Assumption College, 2-0, on Friday in Buffone Arena. The Purple Knights improved to 7-6-1 overall and 4-2 in the league while moving back into first place, and the Greyhounds slipped to 6-6-2 and 2-3-1. The rubber game of the three-game season series takes place tomorrow at 6:05 p.m. in Buffone Arena.
Ouellette turned in his third career two-point game, recording his third career goal in the process, while senior Sam Finkelstein (South Burlington, Vt./Rice Memorial Prep) scored his fourth goal of the year. Sophomore Tim Decker (Liverpool, N.Y./Canterbury School) made 24 saves for his first career shutout in the Purple Knights' initial contest since Jan. 3, as they improved to 26-9-2 against Assumption since 1995. Junior Sam D'Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School) went 13-for-19 on faceoffs, as Saint Michael's began a regular-season-ending 12-game stretch during which each game is against NE10 foes or scheduling partner Post University.
Sophomore David Zulauf made 30 saves for the Greyhounds, who were outshot by a 32-24 margin.
The Purple Knights doubled up the Greyhounds in shots, 10-5, during the opening period, a scoreless 20 minutes. Senior Keegan Finn (Yarmouth, Mass./Bay State Breakers) blocked an Assumption shot at 3:20 before Decker came up with a save nine seconds later, just before the hosts went on a power play with 3:31 gone. Decker denied the lone shot on goal in that man-up opportunity at 4:53. Saint Michael's took four shots during a power play around the middle portion of the period, but Zulauf stopped each, including D'Antuono and Brandon Mitchell's (North Scituate, R.I./Pomfret School) back-to-back bids at 10:07 and 10:10.
Late in the stanza, Ouellette blocked a shot during a Greyhound power play at 17:52 before the hosts went on a two-man advantage at 18:15, but senior Cam Loughlin had a shot blocked by senior Nathan Foice (Essex, Vt./The Winchendon School) six seconds in and saw his follow-up attempt saved by Decker.
After the visitors killed the remaining 15 seconds of the hosts' power play to start the second period, Saint Michael's took the lead for good when Ouellette picked the upper left corner of the net on a shot from the point at 2:51, with Finn assisting. Zulauf made three saves while the Purple Knights had two power plays in a 4:34 stretch midway through the period, and Decker twice denied junior Matt Damelio in seven seconds during the final minute.
Assumption registered a 14-5 lead in shots during the third frame, but Decker stopped each, and Saint Michael's scored the only goal, with Finkelstein shooting under Zulauf's blocker from the right side of the ice. Ouellette had the assist. The Greyhounds pulled their goalie with 53 seconds remaining, and Decker picked up four stops in the final 34 seconds alone to preserve the victory and the shutout.