WINCHENDON, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team fended off Franklin Pierce University's last-minute 6-on-4 power play to hang on for a 4-3 victory on Saturday during Northeast-10 Conference play at The Winchendon School's Ritchie Ice Arena. The Purple Knights moved to 2-1-1 overall while starting 2-0 in the NE10 for the first time since 2010-11, while the Ravens are 1-3 after playing their league opener.
Sophomore John Barry (South Boston, Mass./Deerfield Academy) scored twice for Saint Michael's, junior Sam D'Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School) provided a goal and assist while going 17-for-22 on faceoffs, and first-year Brandon Mitchell (North Scituate, R.I./Pomfret School) notched the game-winning goal and a helper. Senior Eric Salzillo (Johnston, R.I./Boston Bandits) was 11-for-16 on draws, and junior Chris Johnson (Duxbury, Mass./Pomfret School) totaled 17 saves.
Junior Nicholas Fotiu totaled a goal and an assist for Franklin Pierce, while senior Jonathan Haun and first-year Paul Antkowiak both scored once. Senior Tom McGuckin collected 30 stops.
The Purple Knights held a slim 9-7 edge in first-period shots despite winning 15 of 22 faceoffs. After earning a power play 8:41 into the stanza, the visitors went ahead on Barry's first goal 23 seconds later, as he tipped junior Jack Ouellette's (Arlington, Mass./Dexter School) wrister from the blue line through McGuckin's five-hole from out front. Salzillo also assisted. Another Saint Michael's power play ended after 1:10 due to a visitor penalty, and sophomore Hadan Jordan (Colorado Springs, Colo./Boston Bandits) blocked a pair of shots during the ensuing 4-on-4 sequence before Johnson had three stops during 3:10 worth of Raven power-play time over the remainder of the period.
Barry pushed the lead to 2-0 just 1:29 into the second period during another power play, tipping home first-year Paul McAuliffe's (Newton, Mass./Kimball Union Academy) shot from the left point while out front. Classmate Noah Muller (Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Düsseldorfer EG) also registered a helper in his college debut. However, Franklin Pierce scored twice in a 1:46 stretch to tie the game by 4:45. Antowiak's one-timer found the net at 2:59 before Haun touched home the tying marker during 4-on-4 action. Amid a 2-on-1 break late in the period, D'Antuono's intended centering pass went off McGuckin and in for a go-ahead goal at 16:19. Mitchell and senior Nathan Foice (Essex, Mass./The Winchendon School) were credited with assists.
McGuckin kept his team within a goal by denying a Purple Knight shot during a power play that began at 1:34 of the third period, and Salzillo rung the post toward the end of the man advantage. Fotiu found the equalizer shortly thereafter, one-timing sophomore Sean Munzing's centering feed from out front at 5:37. Mitchell deposited the winner a little more than six minutes later, as D'Antuono drew a faceoff from the left circle back and junior Nic Hermary (Coquitlam, British Columbia/Melfort Mustangs) had a shot blocked, but Mitchell sent the rebound home at 11:41. With McGuckin already pulled for an extra attacker in the final minute, the Ravens went on a 6-on-4 power play for the final 26 seconds of the contest, but their only tying bid was sent wide of the net.
The Purple Knights host NE10 scheduling partner Post University for their first-ever meeting on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.