SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team suffered only its second defeat in eight games with a 4-2 loss against Saint Anselm College on Saturday in Cairns Arena. The Purple Knights, who are 11-8-2 overall and 8-4-1 in the Northeast-10 Conference, remain tied for first place in the league with Assumption College with two league games to go after the Greyhounds also lost on Saturday. Saint Anselm, which lost the first two meetings this season, improved to 10-9-1 and 7-4.
First-year Paul McAuliffe (Newton, Mass./Kimball Union Academy) registered both Purple and Gold goals, while senior Eric Salzillo (Johnston, R.I./Boston Bandits) posted an assist and went 7-for-12 on faceoffs. Junior Sam D'Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School) was 20-of-27 at the dot, and sophomore Tim Decker (Liverpool, N.Y./Canterbury School) made 27 saves. First-year Andrew Olevitz (Winthrop, Mass./Northern Cyclones) blocked four shots, while senior Nathan Foice (Essex, Vt./The Winchendon School) and first-year Niall Foster (Newmarket, N.H./Walpole Express) blocked three each. Saint Michael's is 5-2-1 in its last eight games.
Junior Bryan Green scored twice for Saint Anselm, while classmate Jérémy Carignan and sophomore Sean Verrier added single tallies. First-year Alec Andreucci turned in three assists, while junior Colin Soucy made 34 saves.
While playing to a scoreless opening period for the second time in less than 24 hours, Saint Anselm held a slim 11-10 edge in shots. Decker held the Hawks off the board during a five-minute power play that began just 2:35 in, making two stops, while Foice and Olevitz each blocked a shot. Shortly after the completion of a Hawk penalty at 12:43, Decker snuffed out a 2-on-1 to kick off a stretch of six saves in about 30 seconds. Soucy stopped Salzillo during a Saint Michael's power play with a minute remaining to keep the game scoreless.
The hosts took the lead just 1:49 into the second period, as sophomore John Barry's (South Boston, Mass./Deerfield Academy) lead pass sent McAuliffe into the right circle, where he fired across the goal and past Soucy. Salzillo also assisted. Carignan countered at 9:55, snapping a shot home from the right circle, before Verrier tipped in first-year Shawn Moors' blast just 2:48 later. In the final minute, McAuliffe picked off a clearing pass at the blue line and drilled a slap shot from the right circle for the equalizer at 19:05.
Decker kept it 2-2 by denying junior Brian Cameron with his left pad at 2:10 of the third period before stopping sophomore Liam O'Sullivan's follow-up bid with the top of his right pad. Green broke the deadlock at 10:47, racing toward the right post to redirect Andreucci's feed from the right circle during a 2-on-1.
With the Purple Knights still down by a goal, junior Nic Hermary (Coquitlam, British Columbia/Melfort Mustangs) flipped a close-range shot at 17:40 that Soucy knocked away before Green padded the lead just 11 seconds later, batting a loose puck past the final Purple Knight defender and lifting the stick of another Purple Knight who was fighting for possession before sending a shot from the low slot past Decker.
With Decker pulled for the final 1:19, the hosts were able to get only one shot on net, off the stick of Salzillo at 19:01, while two shots were blocked.
The Purple Knights visit NE10 scheduling partner Post University for a two-game series next weekend, beginning with a Friday contest at 8:30 p.m.