This Week In Saint Michael's College Athletics



Contact: Tony Bonvechio - Phone: (802) 654-2929

COLCHESTER, Vt. – Men’s and women’s basketball clinched playoff spots, men’s hockey completed a perfect Northeast-10 Conference regular season, senior Alex Higgins (Phoenix, Ariz./Kent School) was named a finalist for one of college hockey’s most prestigious awards, and junior swimmer Eileen Mullowney (Burlington, Vt./Burlington) smashed another program record in one of the most eventful weeks in recent Saint Michael’s athletics memory.

Women’s basketball clinched a home playoff game for the first round of the Northeast-10 Conference tournament with a 47-36 win at Southern N.H. on Wednesday before knocking off Merrimack on the road on Saturday. The Penmen’s 36 points is the fewest Saint Michael’s has allowed this season, and Saturday’s win gives the Purple Knights a season-high four-game winning streak. Senior Logan Pintka (Schenectady, N.Y./Colonie Central) averaged 13 points and eight rebounds in a 2-0 week, helping Saint Michael’s reach the 14-win mark for the first time since the 2005-06 season. The Purple Knights wrap up the regular season at Saint Anselm on Wednesday before hosting a first-round playoff game on Sunday.

Men’s basketball sealed a playoff spot with a 62-52 win at Southern N.H. on Wednesday before dropping an 80-68 contest at Merrimack on Saturday. Saint Michael’s earned its first playoff berth since the 2006-07 season, and could possibly host a postseason game with a win at Saint Anselm and some help from other teams around the league. Freshman Michael Holton, Jr. (Portland, Ore./Sunset School/Winchendon) led the team with 16 points in each game, and junior Tyler Schilling (Excelsior, Minn./Minnetonka) averaged 14.5 points and nine rebounds while shooting 57 percent from the field. The Purple Knights wrap up their regular season when they take on the Hawks on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Men’s hockey posted a 2-1 week that included a 6-3 win at Stonehill on Tuesday, completing the first perfect NE-10 regular season campaign in program history. The Purple Knights, now 5-0 in NE-10 play, honored nine seniors before their last regular season home game on Saturday: Glenn Belmore (Cornwall, Ontario/Univ. of Maine), Fran Briand (South Burlington, Vt./Loomis Chaffee School), captain Alex Higgins (Phoenix, Ariz./Kent School), Tully LaBelle-Hamer (Fairbanks, Alaska/Alaska Avalanche), Reave MacKinnon (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Winnipeg Saints), Brian McWade (Franklin, Mass./Xaverian Brothers), assistant captain Matt Rigtrup (Montclair, N.J./Pickering Panthers), Brendan Rimmer (Newbury, Mass./Pingree School) and assistant captain Nick Sheehan (Potsdam, N.Y./Cornwall Colts). Saint Michael’s sent off their seniors with a 4-1 win over Connecticut College on “Senior Day,” and all seven skating seniors tallied at least one point to help the Purple Knights crack the 10-win mark for the third time in the last four years and tie a program-record with six Eastern College Athletic Conference East wins. Sheehan led the way with three goals and two assists during the week, including two goals and an assist in Tuesday’s historical win. Freshman Nic McIntyre (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec/Kent School) potted the game-winning goal and Saturday, and Rimmer held down the fort by stopping 24-of-25 shots against the Camels, making numerous impressive saves to keep the Purple Knights in the game. Higgins, who capped the regular season with a goal and an assist, was named one of eight finalists for the 2011 BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award last week. The prestigious award is given to "college hockey's finest citizen and seeks to recognize college hockey players, Division I or Division III, male or female, who give back to their community in the true humanitarian spirit," according to the Hockey Humanitarian website. The winner will be announced on Apr. 8 as part of the 2011 NCAA Frozen Four ceremonies in St. Paul, Minn. Higgins and the Purple Knights return to action on Mar. 2 when they host an NE-10 Semifinal game at 7 p.m.

Women’s hockey ended the regular season on a high note with a 6-2 “Senior Day” victory over Nichols, before which the Purple Knights honored seven seniors: Meghan Colitti (Dover, N.H./Berwick Academy), Kaleigh Ferrari (Millbrook, N.Y./The Millbrook School), Alysia Goldman (Ballston Lake, N.Y./Hebron Academy), assistant captain Meg Guarente (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley), Emily Ham (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional), and co-captains Kelly Rose Losi (Milton, Mass./Milton) and Emily Paquin (Bowie, Md./Washington Pride). Ferrari and Paquin tallied goals in their final regular season contest, Goldman stopped 27-of-29 shots in net, and junior Madelena Santore (Millington, N.J./New Jersey Rockets/Rutgers Univ.) recorded a hat trick to pace the Purple Knights. Santore finished the regular season with a team-best 15 goals, just two shy of the program’s all-time regular season mark. The Purple Knights take the ice next Saturday when they host the four-team ECAC East Women’s Open Tournament.

The swim teams wrapped up the season with the three-day New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) Swim Championships, held at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in White River Jct., Vt. Junior Eileen Mullowney (Burlington, Vt./Burlington) led the way for Saint Michael’s, taking second place in the 100- and 200-yard freestyles and breaking her own program record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.75 seconds. On the men’s side, senior Aidan Warhall (New Haven, Conn./Notre Dame HS) finished fifth in the 400-yard individual medley, and junior Michael Sprague (Sharon, Mass./Sharon) took seventh in the 200-yard butterfly. Both squads dramatically improved their standings over the three days, as the men finished seventh and the women eighth overall.

The ski team earned a 10th-place finish on Saturday at the two-day Middlebury College Winter Carnival at the Middlebury Snow Bowl and Rikert Touring Center. Freshman Tim Spangler (Summit, N.J./Summit/Univ. of Colorado) led the Purple Knights with a 24th-place finish in the men's giant slalom. Sophomore Gabbi Hall (Incline Village, Nev./Forest Charter School) paced the Saint Michael's women with a 28th-place giant slalom finish. On the Nordic side, the Saint Michael's women finished 18th in the sprint relay, with the team consisting of junior Samantha Martell (Georgia, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans/Saint Lawrence Univ.), sophomore Katlyn Keane (Bethel, Maine/Telstar Regional), and freshman Gabrielle Naranja (Fort Kent, Maine/Fort Kent Community). Saint Michael's is back in action next Friday and Saturday at the EISA Championships, hosted by Bates College.


This Week’s Schedule:

Day Date Event
Wed. Feb. 23 Women’s Basketball at Saint Anselm*, 5:30 p.m.

Men’s Basketball at Saint Anselm*, 7:30 p.m.

Sat. Feb. 26 Skiing at EISA Championship, 9 a.m.

Women’s Hockey vs. TBA^, TBA

Sun. Feb. 27 Skiing at EISA Championship, 9 a.m.

Women’s Hockey vs. TBA^, TBA                                 

*Northeast-10 Conference Game

^Eastern College Athletic Conference East Women’s Open Tournament