Men’s Ice Hockey Ties Stonehill, Clinches NE-10 Regular Season Title

FOXBORO, Mass. – Despite goals by each team only 15 seconds apart in the first period, no further scoring was mustered as the Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team played the Skyhawks of Stonehill College to a 1-1 tie Tuesday evening at the Foxboro Sports Center.  The Hawks conclude their regular season with a 12-8-5 overall record alongside a 3-0-2 Northeast-10 Conference record.  The Skyhawks collect their third tie of the season and end their regular season with a 9-11-3 overall record (6-3-2 NE-10).

With the tie, the Hawks captured the first overall seed in the upcoming Northeast-10 Conference post-season, earning home-ice advantage for the opening round of the playoffs.  By not losing in regulation, Saint Anselm claimed the top seed in the Northeast-10 Tournament, ranking ahead of No. 2 Assumption College, No. 3 Stonehill and No. 4 Saint Michael's.  A loss would have dropped the Hawks to the third-overall seed through standard tiebreaking procedures.

With eight points in the Northeast-10 Conference standings by way of a 3-0-2 conference record, the Hawks have captured their 10th regular season championship in 13 years.  Saint Anselm will enter the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament looking to capture their third NE-10 title in as many seasons and their fourth title under Head Coach Ed Seney.

Forward Mike Richard (Derry, N.H.) netted his team-leading 12th goal of the season at 7:02 of the first period, a power play goal, to lift Saint Anselm to the early 1-0 lead.  Forward Eric Czapka (Holland, Pa.) netted his seventh assist of the season and defenseman Ryan Holley (Bethany Beach, Del.) tallied his sixth assist in three games on the play.

Only 15 seconds later, Stonehill's Sean McNeil scored his fourth goal of the season at 7:17 to even the score at one apiece.  A quick give-and-go off of a face-off victory culminated in a quick strike for the Skyhawks.  Forward Stephen Balsamo and defenseman Brendan Greene collected helpers on the strike.

Hawks goaltender Robert Kang (Glen Rock, N.J.) drew his third tie of the season, turning aside 25-of-26 shots on net.  Skyhawks netminder Chris Tasiopoulos earned only his first tie, allowing only one goal against 41 Saint Anselm shots.

Saint Anselm was 1-for-5 on the power play.  Stonehill was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.

NOTABLES: The Hawks still hold a 17-2-2 record all-time against Stonehill College…Saint Anselm has recorded ties in their last two games – the last time the Hawks skated to two consecutive overtime decisions was Friday, Jan. 6 and Friday, Jan. 13 of this season against Buffalo State and Southern Maine, respectively…Saint Anselm has not lost dating back to Friday, Feb. 3 against nationally-ranked Norwich University…Goaltender Robert Kang has not lost dating back to Friday, Jan. 27 against Castleton, a span of 10 games…Forward Mike Richard has recorded a goal in six of his last eight contests, scoring seven goals and four assists for 11 points (7-4=11) during that time frame.

Saint Anselm, the top seed in the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament, hosts the Purple Knights of Saint Michael's College in a 7:00 p.m. contest at the Thomas F. Sullivan Arena on Saturday, Feb. 25.  Stay up to date with the latest news directly from the Saint Anselm College athletic department by following along on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/STAHawks) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/STAHawks).