Four Purple Knights earn NE10 postseason honors, three land all-conference nods

Four Purple Knights earn NE10 postseason honors, three land all-conference nods

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Four members of the Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team earned postseason recognition from the Northeast-10 Conference on Friday. Senior Danny Divis (Media, Pa./Minnesota Wilderness), junior Eric Salzillo (Johnston, R.I./Boston Bandits) and sophomore Sam D'Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School) all drew all-league first team accolades, while first-year William Santangeli (Oakville, Ontario/Saint Mark's School) was slotted for the NE10 All-Rookie Team.

D'Antuono, Divis and Salzillo were among six players - and five skaters - named to the NE10 All-Conference first team, with 12 student-athletes from around the league landing on one of two all-league squads. Divis was one of four defensemen, and D'Antuono and Salzillo were among six forwards. Santangeli is on the six-member All-Rookie Team, giving Saint Michael's at least one such selection for the eighth time in nine years. At least three Purple Knights were named NE10 All-Conference for the first time since 2008-09.

Divis was named to the NE10 All-Conference first team for the third time in his career, joining fellow defenseman Matt Rigtrup '11 as the only players in program history to do so. John Gurskis '98 is the only other Purple Knight to land three all-league first team selections, pulling the feat in the old Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Central. Between the NE10 and New England Hockey Conference (NEHC), which recognized Divis on the second team yesterday for the second straight year, Divis' five career all-conference awards are a school record. Jared Silver '07 and AJ Pieprzak '15 were both honored four times between two leagues.

Divis, who started his career as the 2014 NE10 Rookie of the Year, was the NE10 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winner a year ago. This season he is a semifinalist for the Joe Concannon Award, which lauds the top American-born NCAA Division II/III player in New England, and joins senior Justin McKenzie (Hawthorne, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) as finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award. A senior captain, Divis has four goals and a team-high-tying 14 assists. He is tied for 13th in NCAA Division II/III in both points by a blue liner (18) and assists by a defender. Divis leads all NE10 defenders in assists and points while tying for third overall in assists and tying for 10th in points. During power plays, he is second in helpers (10) and tied for second in points (13). For his career, Divis has 48 assists and 65 points in 98 contests, within one assist of the program's all-time top 20.

Salzillo earned his first postseason conference award. He is second in the NE10 with 23 points, tied for third with 14 assists and tied for seventh with nine goals. He has also won nearly 200 faceoffs at a clip approaching 54.0 percent. Salzillo is the NE10 leader in power-play points (14) while tying for first in extra-man tallies (6) and tying for third in power-play helpers (8). Salzillo finished plus-3 with one goal and two assists in a key NE10 win over Southern New Hampshire University on Jan. 17 and registered three assists at Stonehill College on Jan. 31, with the 6-4 victory clinching the Purple Knights a share of the NE10 regular-season crown.

An NE10 All-Rookie Team pick last winter, D'Antuono is third in the NE10 with 22 points, tied for third in assists (14) and tied for 12th in goals (8). D'Antuono is tied for fifth in power-play assists (7) and tied for ninth in power-play points (8). He has exceeded 300 faceoff wins on the season, succeeding more than 54.0 percent of the time. D'Antuono had three points in four different games this year, with three in NE10 play and the other during a 5-5 draw of eighth-ranked University of Massachusetts at Boston on Dec. 3, while his overtime winner sent the Purple Knights past the University of Southern Maine, 2-1, on Jan. 13.

Santangeli scored once and has handed out five assists while appearing in all 25 games during his first year of collegiate ice hockey. He has finished with at least an even +/- 16 times, posting a season-best plus-3 in the victory at Stonehill. Following an early-season four-game point streak, Santangeli deposited his first collegiate goal during the tie with No. 8 UMass Boston late in the third period. Among all rookie defensemen in the NE10, Santangeli is tied for second in assists and third in points (6). His four power-play assists leave him second among the NE10's rookie blue liners.

Saint Michael's tied Saint Anselm College for the NE10 regular-season crown and, as the No. 2 seed in the NE10 Championship, hosts third-seeded Stonehill for a semifinal on Saturday at 4 p.m.