BABSON PARK, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team lost to Babson College, 4-0, in a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) contest on Saturday at Babson Skating Center. The loss drops the Purple Knights to 8-14-2 overall and 4-12-1 in the NEHC while Babson improves to 13-7-3 and 10-4-2. The Beavers received votes toward both Division III national polls this week.
Sophomore Sam D'Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School) went 16-for-19 at the faceoff dot while classmate Chris Johnson (Duxbury, Mass./Pomfret School) made 23 saves in the first two periods. First-year Tim Decker (Liverpool, N.Y./Canterbury School) made eight stops in relief duty during a scoreless third. Johnson's 23 saves pushed his season total to 737, moving him into a tie with Nick Dion '99 for sixth in program history. His new career total of 1,362 is good enough to pass Andy Joy '05 for eighth, and is just five shy of passing Dave Donzanti '15 for seventh.
For Babson, sophomore Matt Brazel scored a goal and added an assist, and junior Charlie Ackerman dished out two assists. Juniors Ryan Gouvela, Matt McMorrow and Zach Phelps scored a goal apiece. Babson called on a combined effort for their shutout, as sophomore Matt Pompa made 32 saves before senior Gene Lane made one save in the final 2:13.
After Johnson stopped Babson's first 12 shots, Brazel tipped a point shot from Ackerman in to give the Beavers the lead at the 8:30 mark of the first. Johnson stopped the only other shot he faced in the period, as the Purple Knights were able to limit Babson's shot attempts in the period's final 11:30.
McMorrow began a three-goal second period for Babson as he tallied on a wraparound at 5:36. The Purple Knights fired 10 shots between Babson's second and third goal, but could not cut into the lead before Phelps put home a wrist shot at 15:37. Gouveia kept things going 68 seconds later, beating Johnson with a hard shot from the high slot. Although Saint Michael's held a 10-8 advantage in shots during the third, it could not narrow the deficit in the final stanza.
Up next for the Purple Knights is an NEHC contest at home against in-state opponent Norwich University on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Cadets are ranked first in both Division III national polls.