HOOKSETT, N.H. - The first-place Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team avenged an early-season loss to Southern New Hampshire University with a 2-2 tie on Friday evening in the Ice Den. The Purple Knights, who fell 5-0 on Dec. 8, improved to 9-7-2 overall and 6-3-1 in the Northeast-10 Conference, moving to 11-1-1 on the Penmen's home ice in the regular season since 1995 and pushing their record to 3-1-1 in the last five contests. Southern New Hampshire is 8-4-3 and 4-3-3. The teams finish the regular-season series tomorrow at 3 p.m.
Senior Eric Salzillo (Johnston, R.I./Boston Bandits) and junior Sam D'Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School) both scored for the Purple Knights, with D'Antuono 18-of-29 on faceoffs. First-year Niall Foster (Newmarket, N.H./Walpole Express) was 8-of-13 on draws, sophomore Tim Decker (Liverpool, N.Y./Canterbury School) made 32 saves, and senior Nathan Foice (Essex, Vt./The Winchendon School) blocked three shots.
Junior Chris Moquin and sophomore DJ Goldstein scored for Southern New Hampshire, and classmate Kurt Gutting had 40 stops.
The Purple Knights held a 14-9 edge in first-period shots while netting the only goal. Salzillo had back-to-back shots stopped in the opening five minutes, and Foster later hit the post before D'Antuono tallied the opening marker at 9:33. Junior Nic Hermary (Coquitlam, British Columbia/Melfort Mustangs) picked off a pass in the left corner before passing out to the front of the net, where D'Antuono redirected a shot high over Gutting. Both goalies made one save while their respective teams killed penalties later in the stanza, and D'Antuono was denied by Gutting on consecutive shots around the 17-minute mark.
Goldstein tied the game just 45 seconds into the second period, and the next four shots came from Purple Knights, with Gutting stopping each. Saint Michael's killed a Penmen power play that started at 2:58 thanks to two saves by Decker and a pair of blocked shots from Foice, and the visitors retook the lead soon thereafter. After sophomore Hadan Jordan (Colorado Springs, Colo./Boston Bandits) had a shot blocked, he followed the loose puck into the corner and batted it behind the net for first-year Cameron Stewart (Sabattus, Maine/East Coast Wizards). Stewart sent a pass out to the point for Salzillo, who drilled a shot into the back of the net at 6:45. Decker later made three saves during a scoreless host power play, while Hermary and Jordan both blocked a shot.
Southern New Hampshire knotted the contest late in the third period, with Moquin tallying at 18:26 during a stanza in which the visitors held a 13-11 edge in shots. The Purple Knights earned a power play with 43 seconds left in regulation, but Gutting stopped four shots in an extra-man opportunity that extended into overtime, and Decker denied Goldstein's shorthanded bid near the end of the power play. Junior Patrick Doherty (Tewksbury, Mass./Middlesex Black Bears) had a breakaway snuffed out by Gutting with 14 seconds to go, and Decker covered a loose puck at the other end with one second left before D'Antuono went down to block an attempted one-timer on the ensuing faceoff to seal the tie.