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.