Men’s Hockey: D’Antuono Nets Pair as Purple Knights Down Franklin Pierce, 3-1

Courtesy St. Michael’s Sports Information

SOUTH BURLINGTON – Behind two goals from first-year Sam D’Antuono (Hingham, Mass./Dexter School), the Saint Michael’s College men’s ice hockey team downed Franklin Pierce University, 3-1, on Tuesday evening at Cairns Arena during Northeast-10 Conference action. The Purple Knights moved to 2-2 in their last four games, pushing their overall mark to 2-7 this season with a 1-2 NE-10 record. The Ravens are 1-8 and 0-3.

D’Antuono’s first career multi-goal game helped Saint Michael’s move into a second-place tie with Stonehill College during the beginning of his team’s semester-ending stretch of five games in 12 days. Sophomore Ian Speliotis (Westford, Mass./The Brooks School) also tallied, junior Danny Divis (Media, Pa./Minnesota Wilderness) handed out a pair of assists, and first-year Chris Johnson (Duxbury, Mass./Pomfret School) made 22 saves. Senior Nick Potter (Stoneham, Mass./The Brooks School) went 11-for-19 on faceoffs, and sophomore Eric Salzillo (Johnston, R.I./Boston Bandits) finished 6-of-9.

Senior Brendan Glynn scored for Franklin Pierce, and sophomore Tom McGuckin had 20 stops over 46:16 in relief of senior Kyle Moran, who took the loss after yielding two goals and making six saves.

First-year Colin Biebel (Roxborough Park, Colo./Walpole Express) was stopped from the mid-slot 2:21 into the contest, but Saint Michael’s took the lead at 3:48. Junior Anthony Maiuri (Boxford, Mass./New Hampton School) worked the puck across the blue line and passed into the mid-slot for D’Antuono, who picked the upper right corner. Senior Kevin Altidor (Montreal, Quebec/Millbrook School) flew into the zone just seconds after the ensuing draw but was stopped. Johnson maintained the lead by denying sophomore Jonathan Huan’s point-blank backhander during a Raven power play at 6:16, and senior Matt Batis had a shot saved during a breakaway at 11:16. Soon thereafter, Biebel nudged the puck into the Franklin Pierce zone, and Speliotis picked it up in the slot and beat Moran to make it 2-0 with 11:32 gone.

Glynn put the visitors on the board 2:13 into the second period, taking a Saint Michael’s giveaway and scooting in alone on Johnson, deking and finishing to the right side. Divis looked to extend the hosts’ advantage, crashing the net and taking a pass from behind the cage but being turned away from close range at 7:23. Raven first-year Jack Williams had a bid denied from the right point with 10:16 to go, and the Purple Knights countered just seconds later, as first-year defender Jack Ouellette’s (Arlington, Mass./Dexter School) pass from the left circle was redirected on the doorstep by D’Antuono, who went to the upper right corner at 10:32. A teammate rung the left post on a breakaway 1:26 later before Johnson made back-to-back tough saves in the final four minutes, turning away Batis’ try from the mid-slot with his left pad and saving sophomore David Wilcox’s shot directly off a faceoff with 3:07 remaining. Salzillo sent a shot on McGuckin right off a draw at 18:40, and junior Connor Mitchell (New Milford, Conn./Kent School) single-handedly killed the first 30 seconds of a Franklin Pierce power play during the closing stages of the period, allowing the hosts to hold a 3-1 edge at intermission.

Johnson denied junior Alex Schleper’s blast from the point 6:25 into the third period before turning away sophomore Anthony Langevin’s point-blank follow-up on the rebound. Altidor’s redirection out front was stopped at 12:52, and Johnson knocked away junior Taylor Fletcher’s bid from the right point with his blocker at 14:30. Schleper sent a shot through traffic from above the right circle that Johnson stopped with 2:43 remaining, and first-year Dylan Yameen had his team’s only two shots on goal after McGuckin was pulled with 2:12 to go, including Johnson catching a shot through traffic from the right point at 18:05. Johnson made a toe save of Yameen’s final shot in the closing 30 seconds.

The Purple Knights take on nationally-ranked Division III opponents in each of their next three games, beginning at No. 4 Babson College on Friday at 7 p.m. The Beavers, who were last year’s Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East Tournament runner-up after qualifying for the prior two NCAA Tournaments, achieved their fourth-place ranking in this week’s U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) national poll.

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