HOOKSETT, N.H. - The first-place Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team finished off an undefeated weekend at Southern New Hampshire University with a 4-1 victory on Saturday in the Ice Den during Northeast-10 Conference play. The Purple Knights, now 10-7-2 overall and 7-3-1 in the league, pushed their lead to four points over second-place Assumption College, which plays later tonight. The Penmen are 8-5-3 and 4-4-2.
Saint Michael's, which is 4-1-1 in its last six contests, improved to 12-1-1 on Southern New Hampshire's home ice in the regular season since 1995. The two teams tied on Friday, 2-2, and both finish the regular-season series with a 1-1-1 mark.
Junior Sam D'Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School) registered his second two-goal game in three contests for the Purple and Gold while going 19-for-34 on faceoffs, and first-years Tyler Dorval (Liverpool, N.Y./Liverpool) and Andrew Olevitz (Winthrop, Mass./Northern Cyclones) also tallied. Juniors Nic Hermary (Coquitlam, British Columbia/Melfort Mustangs) and Jack Ouellette (Arlington, Mass./Dexter School) both lent two assists, and classmate Chris Johnson (Duxbury, Mass./Pomfret School) totaled 35 saves to take over sole possession of ninth in program history with 18 career wins.
Junior Chris Moquin scored for the Penmen, who received 22 saves from senior Ryan Slatky during the opening 34:41 and another 16 stops from sophomore Kurt Gutting in relief.
In a scoreless first period, both starting netminders made 15 stops. Johnson made three straight saves a little more than a minute into the contest and helped keep the Penmen off the scoreboard during two power plays. The Purple Knight defense allowed only one shot on goal in those combined four minutes, during a man advantage that started at 6:19, while sophomore forward William Santangeli (Oakville, Ontario/Saint Mark's School) blocked the lone bid in a power play that began with 13:08 elapsed.
Saint Michael's blew open a scoreless contest with three goals in a 7:19 span of the second period, with the first two on power plays. Olevitz tallied from the point at 7:22, six seconds after D'Antuono won a faceoff at the beginning of the man advantage. Ouellette and senior Sam Finkelstein (South Burlington, Vt./Rice Memorial Prep) provided the assists. Just 21 seconds into the second power play, D'Antuono was in the high slot to one-time home Ouellette's pass at 12:04. With 14:41 gone, Dorval deposited his second goal of the year thanks to assists from Hermary and first-year Ethan Hendrickson (Budd Lake, N.J./New Jersey Rockets) after a scramble out front.
With Slatky pulled in favor of Gutting following the third Saint Michael's goal, Moquin cut into the Penmen's deficit with 17 seconds remaining, and the visitors led 3-1 heading into the third period. Gutting denied the first seven shots he faced before Saint Michael's reestablished the three-goal edge at 6:56 of the third period, with D'Antuono scoring shortly after winning a faceoff, deking Penmen defenders and going top shelf glove side.
Johnson made three saves while helping the Purple Knights kill two penalties in the final 11:20, and he registered one more stop while Hendrickson blocked a shot with the Penmen playing with an empty net for the last 1:24, with a Purple and Gold player in the penalty box for the first 14 seconds of that stretch.
The Purple Knights host four of their final six regular-season games, taking on Saint Anselm College for a two-game series next weekend at Cairns Arena. The puck drops for Friday's opener at 7:05 p.m.