Men’s Hockey: Purple Knights Stay Hot, Edge Franklin Pierce 2-1

Courtesy St. Michael’s Sports Information

WINCHENDON, MA. – The Saint Michael’s College men’s ice hockey team moved into a three-way tie for first place in the Northeast-10 Conference with a 2-1 win over Franklin Pierce University on Tuesday evening at The Winchendon School’s Ritchie Arena. With two league games remaining, the Purple Knights are 4-7-1 overall and 2-1 in the NE10, having extended their unbeaten run to three contests, at 2-0-1. The Ravens are 6-7 and 2-3.


Senior Josh Dickman (Kapaa, Hawaii/Saint Paul’s School) and junior Eric Salzillo (Johnston, R.I./Boston Bandits) both scored for Saint Michael’s, which improved to 15-1 all time against Franklin Pierce. SeniorShawn Morrow (East Greenbush, N.Y./Kent School) and sophomore Sam D’Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School) both picked up assists and helped the visitors win 60.6 percent (57-of-94) of their faceoffs, with Morrow 12-for-20 and D’Antuono 14-for-25. Senior Justin McKenzie (Hawthorne, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) added a 17-of-24 effort. Sophomore Chris Johnson (Duxbury, Mass./Pomfret School) made 27 saves.


Sophomore Nate Indelicato netted the Franklin Pierce goal, and juniorTom McGuckin made 39 stops.


The Purple Knights held a 20-7 advantage in first-period shots while going 30-of-37 on faceoffs, but the teams heading into the initial intermission tied. McGuckin made five stops during a Saint Michael’s power play that began just 2:23 after the opening whistle, while Johnson denied first-year Matthew Toombs’ shorthanded bid in that time, and senior Danny Divis (Media, Pa./Minnesota Wilderness) and sophomore Nic Hermary (Coquitlam, British Columbia/Melfort Mustangs) both had power-play attempts turned away on a man advantage that started at 7:12 before the Ravens scored just nine seconds after the power play ended. Following a failed clear by a Purple Knight, Indelicato picked up the loose puck and went glove side on Johnson at9:21.


Just 2:31 later, Salzillo found the power-play equalizer, knocking home the rebound of D’Antuono’s shot. Senior Connor Mitchell (New Milford, Conn./Kent School) also assisted. McGuckin made three more stops on an ensuing power play before recording four saves to Johnson’s one as the teams played 1:56 of 4-on-4 hockey. In a 1-1 contest, sophomore Colin Biebel (Roxborough Park, Colo./Walpole Express) rung the post with 45 seconds left.


Franklin Pierce outshot the visitors 12-9 in the second period, but Saint Michael’s scored the only goal. The hosts killed off a 5-on-3 disadvantage during the opening 1:41, with McGuckin making two stops, and Johnson turned away three shots during a Raven power play soon thereafter. Johnson’s save on another power play that started at 4:59 led to Hermary having a shorthanded bid denied, and Divis turned in one of his own on a Franklin Pierce man advantage that began at the 7:13 mark. Johnson had two saves in that stretch. Five seconds after a Purple Knight power play expired, Dickman finished from the right circle at 11:51 after taking Morrow’s 2-on-1 pass to make it 2-1.


Johnson stopped three shots in the opening 1:21 of the third period with the Ravens on a power play, including denying back-to-back bids by Indelicato and junior Jonathan Haun in the opening 35 seconds. Johnson made consecutive stops of two shots by sophomore Nick Indelicato nearly seven minutes into the period before McGuckin stopped five Purple Knight bids in a matter of two minutes, with three during a power play. Franklin Pierce pulled McGuckin for an extra skater with 1:31 remaining, and Haun’s blast from the point with a minute to go was corralled by Johnson, leading to a goal-mouth scramble that the goalie ended by covering the puck. A final shot from seniorAlex Schleper in the final minute didn’t reach the net. After a Raven was whistled for a penalty with 45 ticks left, McGuckin again vacated the net, but the hosts were unable to fire off another tying bid.


The Purple Knights close out their first semester on Friday at No. 5 Norwich University at 7 p.m.