Men’s Hockey: St.Mike’s Settles for Second, Middlebury Takes Third in Holiday Tournament

Courtesy St. Michael’s and Middlebury Sports Information

MIDDLEBURY — The Saint Michael’s College men’s ice hockey team was within one goal of nationally-regarded Babson College until early in the third period before losing a 6-2 decision on Saturday during the Middlebury College Holiday Classic championship game in Kenyon Arena. The Beavers received votes toward the latest U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) Division III national poll.

· Saint Michael’s (7-4-1), Babson (9-3-1)

· Junior Noah Muller (Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Düsseldorfer EG), 2 assists
· Junior Paul McAuliffe (Newton, Mass./Kimball Union Academy), 1 goal
· First-year Jeremy Routh (Hamden, Conn./New Hampshire Junior Monarchs), 1 goal
· Junior Thomas Flack (Toronto, Ontario/Saint Michael’s Buzzers), 1 assist, 14-for-26 faceoffs
· Senior Tim Decker (Liverpool, Conn./Canterbury School), 27 saves

· Sophomore Matt Wiesner, 2 goals, 1 assist
· First-year Andrew Holland, 2 goals
· Junior Patrick Flynn, 2 assists
· Sophomore Cam Schmitt, 2 assists
· Sophomore Ryan Black, 1 goal
· Sophomore Zach Richterman, 1 goal
· Sophomore Aidan Murphy, 23 saves

· Decker and Muller were both named to the all-tournament team.
· Babson was receiving votes toward the U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) Division III national poll after Saint Michael’s played Middlebury, which was also receiving national votes, on Friday.
· The Beavers, who scored exactly six goals for the fourth straight game, extended their unbeaten streak to eight games (7-0-1) after entering the day tied for the longest active undefeated run in Division III. Saint Michael’s scored twice against the fourth-best scoring defense in Division III (1.58) while netting a pair of power-play goals against a penalty-kill unit that was third in Division III (94.1%) and had yielded only two power-play goals in its last 14 games dating back to 2018-19.
· The Purple Knights were seeking their first in-season tournament championship since 2012-13, when they won their own DoubleTree Ice Hockey Classic, and were looking to win another school’s tournament for the first time since taking the State University of New York at Potsdam’s Pepsi Invitational in 1998-99.
· Former conference counterparts, Saint Michael’s and Babson met for the first time since the Purple and Gold left the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) following the 2016-17 season.
· This was the third time the Purple Knights have competed in the Middlebury Holiday Classic and their first time advancing to the championship game.

· Despite holding a 16-4 advantage in shots during the first period, Babson netted only one goal, when Wiesner’s redirection from the slot off of senior Connor Dahlman’s pass found the net at 18:01.
· Routh found the equalizer with 4:17 gone in the second, picking the upper right corner from the left circle during a power play.
· Babson retook the lead for good just 1:39 later, as Flynn intercepted a failed clear up the right boards and sent a puck out front, where a crashing Wiesner put home a tip-in.
· Holland scored the first of three straight power-play goals between the team by tipping in Schmitt’s pass from down low at 14:34.
· McAuliffe drew Saint Michael’s within 3-2 1:37 into the third period on the man advantage. After Muller slipped a crossing pass toward the right side of the crease, Flack’s tip-in try was denied by Murphy, but McAuliffe batted the loose puck into a vacated net.
· Babson put the game away with three goals in an ensuing 10:35 stretch, beginning when Holland tipped in Schmitt’s pass out front during a power play at 6:33.
· Richterman added to the lead by scoring from the right circle at 11:34, and Black finished a give-and-go with sophomore Mike Egan at the left post at 17:08.

· Tuesday vs. Post University, 7 p.m.

Third Place Game

The Middlebury men’s hockey team scored at least once in each period, as the Panthers skated to a 5-2 triumph over Manhattanville on Saturday in the consolation game of the Middlebury Holiday Classic. The Panthers (7-3) return to conference play on January 10 hosting second-ranked Trinity at 7:00 p.m., while the Valiants (5-8-1) are idle until January 14 when they entertain Albertus Magnus at 7:00 p.m.

Babson claimed the tournament title with a 6-2 victory over St. Michael’s in the championship game.

The hosts grabbed a 1-0 lead 6:37 into the opening period on a play that started in their defensive zone. A smart dump in by Brendan Dawson allowed Emack Bentley to fire a shot from the goal line on the left side that Valiant goalie Reid Robertson turned aside, but Michael Fahie cleaned up the rebound. Manhattanville drew even in the later stages of the frame, as Alex Rowella tucked home a shot by the left post after a short cross-crease pass by Glynn Robitaille. Rowella’s tally came with 4:16 on the clock as the teams went into the first intermission tied at 1-1.

In the middle stanza, the Valiants nearly took the lead when Joel Knight’s shot from the right point hit off the top of the cross bar with just over five minutes expired. Middlebury broke through for a pair of goals late in the frame, claiming a 3-1 lead. Bentley scored off a tremendous feed from the left wall by Paddy Bogart with 5:16 on the clock, while Owen Powers tipped in a shot by Dawson on the power play just over four minutes later for a 3-1 cushion.

In the final 20 minutes, both teams had an opportunity near the midway stages, with the Vialants getting the first. Ryan Jackson slid a puck through an empty crease, while on the ensuing trip up the ice, Bentley was robbed by Robertson’s glove from in tight.

The hosts iced the contest with a pair of goal in the last eight minutes. Antoine Belisle picked off an errant Manhattanville pass in his own zone, before lifting a shot into the upper-right corner of the net for a 4-2 lead. Tyler Little scored into an empty net with 2:29 on the clock, for his first collegiate tally.

Horoho finished with 27 saves for a win in his collegiate debut, while Robertson notched 30 saves for the visitors. The hosts held a 35-29 advantage in shots and went 1-2 with the man advantage with Manhattanville coming up in empty in three chances.

Powers represented the Panthers on the all-tournament team.

All-Tournament Team
Matt Wiesner – Babson – MVP
Cam Schmidtt – Babson
Brad Arvanitis – Babson
Noah Muller – St. Michael’s
Tim Decker – St. Michael’s
Owen Powers – Middlebury
Ryan Jackson – Manhattanville