Courtesy St. Michael’s Sports Information
SOUTH BURLINGTON – Senior Josh Dickman’s (Kapaa, Hawaii/Saint Paul’s School) goal 5:13 into the third period snapped a tie and sparked a late surge that sent the Saint Michael’s College men’s ice hockey team past Southern New Hampshire University, 6-3, on Tuesday at Cairns Arena. In a matchup between two of three first-place Northeast-10 Conference teams, the Purple Knights ran their unbeaten streak to four games while improving to 7-8-2 overall and 3-1 in the league. The Penmen are 11-8 and 4-3 after their fifth straight loss.
Sophomore Sam D’Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School) tallied two goals and an assist for Saint Michael’s while going 10-for-18 on faceoffs, and Dickman and junior Eric Salzillo (Johnston, R.I./Boston Bandits) both had a tally and two helpers. Salzillo was also 7-of-13 on draws. Senior Connor Mitchell (New Milford, Conn./Kent School) and sophomore Colin Biebel (Roxborough Park, Colo./Walpole Express) each tacked on a marker, and classmate Chris Johnson (Duxbury, Mass./Pomfret School) made 26 saves.
With one league game left, Saint Michael’s is now tied with Saint Anselm College for first in the conference. The Purple Knights are 5-1-2 in their last eight games while winning their eighth straight regular-season home game against Southern New Hampshire, and pushing their mark to 13-2 in the last 15 overall meetings.
Senior Jay Sylvia, junior Timothy Baylis and first-year Brian O’Callaghan all scored for the Penmen, and junior Ryan Slatky made 34 stops.
The Purple Knights rattled off three goals during a 6:10 stretch within the opening 10:44 of the first period, while Johnson made a handful of quick pad stops in the stanza. After the goalie denied first-year Brett Strawn with his right pad at 3:46, Saint Michael’s took the lead on D’Antuono’s initial tally, at 4:34. Salzillo took a lead pass up the right boards from D’Antuono, skated behind the net, then found a streaking D’Antuono in the slot, where the sophomore picked the upper right corner. Johnson kicked away first-year Jared Goudreau’s bid just 49 seconds later before Slatky came up with a glove save off of Mitchell’s shot immediately following a faceoff at 6:20.
D’Antuono extended the lead at 7:01, picking the upper left corner from the slot off of Dickman’s one-time pass. Just 3:43 later, senior Stephen Inman (Coventry, R.I./Odessa Jackalopes) sent a power-play shot from the blue line that Slatky saved but knocked up in the air out front, and Mitchell batted it home from midair on the doorstep. Johnson later helped the Purple Knights kill a 5-on-3 that lasted for 1:05, with his right-pad stop of junior Griffin Rogers from the right circle at 15:05 keying the stretch.
Southern New Hampshire quickly regrouped in the second period, during which it held a 12-11 edge in shots, as the Penmen scored twice in the opening5:18. Sylvia converted from the slot at 49 seconds after taking junior Chris Moquin’s one-time pass from behind the net, and Johnson kept it a 3-1 game by snagging senior Joe Collins’ shot above his helmet from the slot at 3:27 off of a giveaway. However, O’Callaghan trimmed the deficit to one at 5:18, shooting from a tough angle above the left circle and sending a shot across Johnson’s chest and inside the right post. Johnson protected the one-goal lead by denying a shot on a 3-on-2 rush at 11:33, while D’Antuono was denied a third goal at 16:59when Slatky stuck out his right pad to stop a shot from the slot.
Baylis tied the game 2:21 into the third period, as a teammate’s pass from the left corner hit a skate and redirected out front, where Baylis picked it up at the top of the crease and snapped a shot into the left side of the net. Just 2:52 later, Dickman found the winner. After possessing but slipping to the ice in the left corner, he regrouped and skated into the slot, where the senior backhanded a shot through a screen into the right side of the net. Dickman contributed to an insurance tally at 11:36, sending a pass out front to D’Antuono, who had a shot stopped, but Salzillo got the rebound at the bottom of the left circle and hit a vacated net. After Slatky was pulled in favor of an extra skater at 17:50, seniorDanny Divis (Media, Pa./Minnesota Wilderness) sent a stretch pass from the right corner to the blue line for Biebel, who skated to the red line and fired on an open net to pad the lead with 1:21 to go.
The Purple Knights host Saint Anselm on Friday for a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) game at 7 p.m.