SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team earned a 2-1 victory over Saint Anselm College Friday night at Cairns Arena to remain tied for first place in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Purple Knights improved to 11-7-2 overall and 8-3-1 in the NE10 while the Hawks are now 9-9-1 and 6-4. Saint Michael's, which is 5-1-1 in its last seven contests and clinched the season series victory after also nabbing a 5-1 win in November, is tied for first with Assumption College in the NE10. The teams play again at 4 p.m. tomorrow.
Senior Eric Salzillo (Johnston, R.I./Boston Bandits) and junior Sam D'Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School), who tied his career high of nine goals, both tallied a goal for the Purple Knights while four other players pitched in an assist each. D'Antuono was 15-for-29 in faceoffs, Salzillo went 16-for-22, and first-year Niall Foster (Newmarket, N.H./Walpole Express) finished 10-for-14. Junior Chris Johnson (Duxbury, Mass./Pomfret School) totaled 39 saves while tying Nick Dion '99 for eighth in program history with 19 career wins. Johnson improved to 5-0 in NE10 play this year. Saint Michael's won at home against the Hawks for the first time since Feb. 1, 2013, taking consecutive meetings for the first time since February and March 2008.
Senior Jon Pallotta recorded the lone goal for the Hawks while junior Bryan Green and first-year John Femia added the assists. Femia also went 11-for-19 from the dot as junior Colin Soucy had 27 saves in 58:19 of play.
Salzillo's first try 30 seconds in rung off the crossbar before Johnson denied first-year Frank Ferraro's point-blank bid from the slot at 8:50. Johnson made a sliding save at 9:30 to push first-year Jonathan Folsom's shot away while junior Jack Ouellette (Arlington, Mass./Dexter School) drilled a shot at 11:35 that Soucy saved with his upper body. At 18:15, Salzillo hit a wrist shot through traffic as Soucy saved it. With five seconds left, Saint Michael's hit back-to-back attempts by the bottom right corner of the crease with none getting by Soucy.
The Purple Knights got on the board during a power play at 4:10 of the second period as first-year Sel Narby's (Huntington, N.Y./Connecticut Junior Rangers) shot was knocked down in the slot, where Salzillo was able to capitalize on the rebound and put the puck left side. The Hawks struck back-to-back tries at 6:30 with the first coming from the right point and the second from the crease in which Johnson saved both. Sophomore William Santangeli (Oakville, Ontario/Saint Mark's School) and first-year Ethan Hendrickson (Budd Lake, N.J./New Jersey Rockets) held a two-on-one opportunity at 14:24 in which Soucy made a glove save on Santangeli's try. Johnson denied back-to-back attempts again at 15:20 before Foster took a shot from the slot with 33 seconds left that Soucy picked up.
At 5:11 of the final period, Ouellette sailed a shot from the right point that Soucy denied, but D'Antuono was able to capitalize on the rebound from the slot to send it home to the bottom left side. Johnson made a diving split save at 14:55, barely getting his stick on the puck to push it just left of the post. The Hawks were able to come within one goal at 17:47 during a power-play opportunity as Pallotta went back door after receiving a pass from Femia, who was near the inside of the right circle. Saint Anselm pulled Soucy with 1:41 to go, and in the final 1:24 of play, the Hawks sailed two shots that nicked just off of the pipe and out of play, with Johnson also making two saves.