MANCHESTER, N.H. – Ryan Butler (Arlington, Mass.) recorded a goal and an assist, while Paul Snell (Groton, Mass.) added a pair of assists, to lead the second-seeded Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team to a 3-2 victory against No. 4 Assumption College in a Northeast-10 Conference Tournament semifinal game at Sullivan Arena.
The Hawks, the defending conference tournament champions, improve to 12-11-2, while the Greyhounds fall to 11-15-1. Saint Anselm will be looking to win its sixth NE-10 Tournament title when it battles top-seeded Saint Michael's College in the championship game Saturday, March 5 at 3 p.m. at Cairns Arena.
Saint Anselm jumped on the board first at the 8:02 mark of the opening period when Butler's shot from the left point was saved by Assumption goaltender Nick Blanchette, but the rebound caromed to Joe Tabano (Glastonbury, Conn.). Tabano slid the puck across the crease to Mike Richard (Derry, N.H.), who buried his power-play chance into the left side of the net to make it 1-0.
After Assumption knotted the game on the power-play at the 16:17 mark, Butler took advantage of his team's 5-on-3 opportunity with 1:38 on the clock when he received a feed from Coleman Noonan (Norfolk, Mass.) right in front of the net and beat Blanchette to make it 2-1. Snell was also credited with an assist on the play.
The Hawks padded their lead at the 12:44 mark of the middle stanza when Jim Toomey (Billerica, Mass.) sent a pass from the top of the right circle to the bottom of the left circle for John Hyslip (Andover, Mass.), who potted the game-winner into the vacant left side of the net. Snell started the sequence to earn his second assist of the night.
The Greyhounds would add an extra-attacker goal with 1:57 remaining in regulation, but that was as close as they would get.
Goaltender Robert Kang (Glen Rock, N.J.), the NE-10 Goaltender and Rookie of the Year, made 19 saves, including 10 in the third period to backbone the effort. Blanchette was forced to stop 34 shots as Saint Anselm outshot Assumption, 37-21, including 13-5 in the second period.