MANCHESTER, N.H. – Freshman Kevin Dazkevich (West Hartford, Conn.) and sophomore Ryan Donovan (Bridgewater, Mass.) each tallied their second goals of the season in the first period, but the Saint Anselm men's hockey team couldn't hold off a pesky Skidmore team Friday night, skating to a 4-4 overtime tie at Sullivan Arena.
The tie moves Saint Anselm to 5-10-2 on the year and 4-6-2 in ECAC East play. The Thoroughbreds, meanwhile, improve to 3-12-3 and 2-8-1 in league action.
Just after the Hawks' first power play expired, Dazkevich carried the puck through the right side of the Skidmore defense to the right side and sent a sharp-angled wrister that somehow found its way past Thoroughbred goaltender Jack McDonald for the game's opening score. Senior Joey Agliato (Hauppauge, N.Y.) tallied an assist on the play, dishing the puck to the rookie from behind the netting. Donovan then stuffed home his second rebound chance, originating off a deep shot from freshman Easton Miller (Mission Viejo, Calif.) near the right faceoff circle to put Saint Anselm raced out to a commanding 2-0 lead.
Saint Anselm outshot Skidmore 11-3 in the first period alone, truly dominating possession for much of the opening stanza. The Thoroughbreds would respond, however, on a Sam Bloom goal with just under four minutes remaining to steal some of the Hawks' momentum and cut the lead in half.
The Hawks responded after the first intermission just 2:38 into the period, as senior Johnny Daniels (Andover, Mass.) won a faceoff on the left circle in Skidmore territory that was played around the boards. Senior Sean Jenkins (Boston, Mass.) played a quick touch to Miller, who found Daniels waiting just outside that same circle and ripped one top shelf past McDonald to retake a two-goal lead, 3-1.
Skidmore would again cut the lead in half on a Mickey Foley goal at the 9:20 mark of the second period, taking a 3-2 deficit into the second intermission.
The Thoroughbreds weren't done yet though as the momentum seemed to turn on Foley's midgame goal. Skidmore tied the game at 3-3 on a Marc Cibelli goal just 41 seconds into the third period, and Christian Leahy surged the 'Breds ahead at the 9:34 mark with a rebound off the right pad of Hawks freshman goaltender Shane Joyce (Pembroke, Mass.).
Just when the game seemed to be slipping away, junior Bryan Sullivan (Burlington, Mass.) created a turnover near the Skidmore blue line, played it off the boards past a Thoroughbred defender, slapped one past another and laced it over the right shoulder of McDonald to pull back to a 4-4 score.
Sophomore CJ Blaszka (Brookfield, Conn.) nearly added a late would-be game-winner with just under one minute remaining, but his rocket from the right side rung the pipe and neither team could pick up more than a draw on the hard-fought evening.
The Hawks did an excellent job staying out of the box in Friday's matchup with just one penalty in the game. However, Saint Anselm could not take advantage of its four power play opportunities, including a 5-on-3 advantage at the end of the first period.
Joyce would take the draw decision for the Hawks, tallying 16 saves and moving to 5-7-2 overall. McDonald recorded 30 saves for the Thoroughbreds.
The Hawks will be back at it tomorrow afternoon, hosting another ECAC East rival in Castleton College at 4 p.m. It will be the second game of a Hawk Hockey double-header as the women host Holy Cross at 1 p.m.
Additionally, Saint Anselm wore its pink uniforms as a part of its annual "Pink in the Rink" weekend to raise and support breast cancer awareness. Both the men's and women's teams have been selling t-shirts, paper ribbons and hosting other fundraising activities throughout the week that will continue through Saturday's double-header at Sullivan Arena.