Men’s Hockey: St. Mike’s Upsets Babson 4-2

Courtesy St. Michael’s Sports Information

SOUTH BURLINGTON – The Saint Michael’s College men’s ice hockey team upset No. 12 Babson College, 4-2, in a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) contest on Friday at Cairns Arena. The win marks the first time Saint Michael’s has beaten a nationally-ranked opponent since Jan. 17, 2004, which was also the last time the Purple Knights beat the Beavers. Babson was ranked 15th heading into that contest.


With the win, the Purple Knights improve to 3-7 overall and 2-5 in the NEHC. The loss drops the Beavers, who advanced to the past four NEHC Tournament championship games and two of the last four NCAA Division III Tournaments, to 7-3-1 and 4-1. Babson received its national ranking in the most recent U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) Division III national poll.


For the Purple Knights, senior Danny Divis (Media, Pa./Minnesota Wilderness) scored twice while classmate Anthony Maiuri (Boxford, Mass./New Hampton School) and sophomore Sam D’Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School) recorded a goal each. Senior Shawn Morrow (East Greenbush, N.Y./Kent School) went 15-for-26 on faceoffs, D’Antuono was 11-for-18, while junior Eric Salzillo (Johnston, R.I./Boston Bandits) handed out two assists. Sophomore Chris Johnson (Duxbury, Mass./Pomfret School) made 29 saves in the contest.


For the Beavers, junior Charlie Ackerman (Bradenton, Fla./South Shore Kings) and sophomore Tommy Munichiello (Weymouth, Mass./Boston Advantage) each scored, and sophomore Bryan Botcher (Mequon, Wis./Phillips Exeter Academy) made 23 saves.


Just 22 seconds into the game Johnson made a glove snag on a shot from junior Jake Donahue (Groveland, Mass./New Hampshire Monarchs) that was headed for the top left corner. Following a successful Purple Knight penalty kill 8:56 into the first Babson took two quick penalties. On the 5-on-3 power play for Saint Michael’s, senior Stephen Inman (Coventry, R.I./Odessa Jackalopes) sent a pass across the point to Divis, who fired a shot past Botcher at 10:39 to open the scoring. Late in the period first-year Josh Beck (Scituate, Mass./Seacoast Prep) got a breakaway try following a blue line turnover by the Purple Knights, and his attempt to finish after deking to his backhand was denied by Johnson. The teams entered the first intermission with Saint Michael’s leading 1-0.


Early in the second period, sophomore Nic Hermary (Coquitlam, British Columbia/Melfort Mustangs) fired a shot from the middle of the left circle that forced Botcher to make a tough glove save at the 1:21 mark. In the midst of a Babson power play just a minute later, senior Michael Phillips (Richmond Heights, Ohio/Boston Bandits) was set up in the low slot but his ice-level attempt on goal was kept out by Johnson with a pad save. At the 6:15mark, Inman fired a hard slap shot from the high slot but it was stopped and held by Botcher. Munichiello knotted the score at the 7:04 mark, as he fired past Johnson’s blocker side after receiving a pass from first-year Connor Dahlman (Stamford, Conn./The Gunnery).


Sixty-six seconds later, D’Antuono finished past Botcher’s glove side after controlling his own rebound, putting the Purple Knights up 2-1 at the 8:10mark. During a Babson power play late in the second, junior Ryan Gouveia (Dartmouth, Mass./Boston Bandits) fired a one-timer after being set up just above the right post, but Johnson denied the shot with his left shoulder, knocking it up and over the goal before it could find the top right corner.


The Purple Knights doubled their lead early in the third when Maiuri finished just inside the right post with a wrap-around to make the score 3-1 after2:07. Midway through the final period, first-year Dan Casey (Chatham, N.J./Kent School) fired a shot that senior Bill Seligman (Toronto, Ontario/Lakeshore Patriots) tipped over Johnson’s shoulder and off the crossbar. Babson cut the deficit in half when Ackerman fired a shot from the top of the left circle past Johnson’s glove side at 10:11, but Divis tallied on an empty net with 57 seconds remaining to ensure the victory for Saint Michael’s.


Up next for the Purple Knights is an NEHC contest at home against nationally-ranked University of Massachusetts at Boston on Saturday at 4 p.m.The Beacons are slotted No. 8 in the most recent USCHO Division III national poll and advanced to last year’s NCAA Division III Tournament Frozen Four.