MANCHESTER, N.H. – Mike Richard (Derry, N.H.) registered four points, including his third career hat trick, to lift the Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team to Friday night's 7-5 win against Skidmore College at Thomas F. Sullivan Arena.
The Hawks bump their record to 10-4-2 on the season, including 7-4-1 in ECAC East play, while the Thoroughbreds drop to 9-8-2, 6-5-1 ECAC East.
Saint Anselm was first to find the net when Greg Merrill (Brighton, Mich.) sent a blast from the point that rocketed over the right shoulder of Skidmore goaltender Ben Freiberg with six minutes left in the opening frame. Tyler Savage (Johns Creek, Ga.) and Andrew Kacz (North Dighton, Mass.) were each credited with assists on the play.
Skidmore netted the equalizer on the power play with 30 seconds remaining in the period as Zach Menard's drive from the point skipped past Saint Anselm goaltender Nick Dries (Commerce Township, Mich.) and into the back of the net.
The Hawks went back up by a goal just 18 seconds into the middle stanza when Evan Gogonis (Northboro, Mass.) potted the first of his career after he received a feed from Richard in the right corner and teed up a one-time from the top of the right circle that beat Freiberg to his left. Richard and Liam McKillop (New York, N.Y.) earned assists on the play.
Richard gave the Hawks a 3-1 lead at the 4:13 mark of the second as he collected a pass from McKillop while skating over the blue line and snapped off a shot from the left circle that snuck underneath the glove of Freiberg. Tim King (Weymouth, Mass.) began the sequence with a breakout pass that earned him an assist.
The Thoroughbreds sliced their deficit in half 1:57 later on a 5-on-3 advantage when Anders Gundersen slid a pass across the slot from left to right for Tony Giacin, who one-timed the puck into the right side of the cage. Tim Colvin also earned an assist on the play.
Richard's second of the contest put the Hawks in front, 4-2, at the 15:07 mark. McKillop skated from behind the net to the bottom of the right circle where he dished to the slot for Richard, who glided onto the puck and ripped a low one-timer into the left side of the net. King was also credited with his second assist of the night.
Skidmore once again climbed back within one with 1:32 to play in the second when Chris Powers slid the puck from the right point into the slot where Aaron Beck's quick backhander made it past Dries and into the right side of the net to make it 4-3.
Richard struck for the third time just 20 seconds into the final frame when King set him up for the third time to make it a two-goal game. Gogonis also collected an assist on the play.
The Thoroughbreds would not go away, however, as 28 seconds later Thomas Park found the back of the net off passes from Alex Radmin and Dave Dupuis to pull within 5-4.
The Hawks looked to put it away at the 6:43 mark as Johnny Daniels (Andover, Mass.) beat Freiberg to make it a 6-4 game. Tucker Mullin (Andover, Mass.) and Bryan Sullivan (Burlington, Mass.) picked up assists on the sequence.
Skidmore answered the bell once again, however, when Jack Even cut it to one with just 1:31 on the clock after receiving passes from Vlad Gavrik and Brendan Cottam.
The visitors then pulled Freiberg for the extra skater with just over a minute to play, but the Hawks finally did ice the game when Daniels slid the puck around a defender at center ice to Joe Tebano (Glastonbury, Conn.), who flipped the puck down the ice and into the vacant net as he fell to the surface.
Dries stopped 11 shots, while Freiberg made 32 saves, including 28 in the first two periods combined.
Saint Anselm held a 39-16 advantage in shots, including 17-4 in the opening frame.
The Hawks return to action Saturday, Jan. 26 at 4 p.m. when they continue their Pink in the Rink weekend by playing host to Castleton State College at Sullivan. Stay up-to-date with the latest news, including game previews and recaps, directly from the Saint Anselm College athletic department by liking us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/STAHawks) and following us on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/STAHawks).