SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – The Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team put together a rally late in the third but came up a goal short in a 2-1 defeat to Northeast-10 Conference leader Saint Michael's on Friday evening at Cairns Arena.
Saint Michael's (11-7-2, 8-3-1 NE10) built a 2-0 lead early in the third and continued to hold the two-goal advantage with a little over two minutes remaining. Senior Jon Pallotta got Saint Anselm (9-9-1, 6-4-0 NE10) on the board with 2:13 remaining to cut the deficit to one, but the Purple Knights hung on as the Hawks hit the post twice in the final minute of the game. Pallotta's goal extended his point streak to five-straight games and gave the senior 12 points in his last 10 games.
After clear-cut scoring chances were hard to come by in the opening period, the Purple Knights opened the scoring at 4:10 of the second on a power-play goal by Eric Salzillo. A shot by Sel Narby was blocked in the middle of the ice and fell to Salzillo, who slotted the puck in the left side to put his team ahead.
Later in the period, William Santangeli had an opportunity to double the Saint Michael's lead, but his shot was straight at junior Colin Soucy on a 2-on-1 off a turnover. Soucy, who had 27 saves for the Hawks, denied Salzillo his second power-play goal of the night in the final minute of the second after Salzillo drove towards the net.
Chris Johnson, who made 39 saves for the Purple Knights, snatched a bullet from sophomore Trey Aiello from low in the right circle inside the first two minutes of the second to keep it a 1-0 game. At 5:11 of the third, Sam D'Antuono extended the hosts' lead to 2-0, converting a rebound in the slot after Soucy stopped a Jack Ouellette shot from the right point.
With time running out, Pallotta gave the Hawks life with a power-play goal with 2:13 remaining in the third to make it a one-goal game. Junior Bryan Green started the goal by sliding the puck across from the left to freshman John Femia, who found Pallotta on the back door from the right.
Saint Anselm was inches from tying the game twice in the final 60 seconds after pulling Soucy in favor of the extra skater with 1:41 left. Pallotta hammered one off the post from the left point after being set up by junior Jeremy Carignan with 52 seconds remaining, before sophomore Jake Grade rang one off the pipe from the right point with about 15 seconds to go.
Both teams went 1-for-5 on the power play in the game. The Hawks had 19 of their 40 shots in the third period and outshot the Purple Knights 40-29 in the game.
Saint Anselm and Saint Michael's meet for the third and final time in the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 4 p.m. at Cairns Arena.