HOOKSETT/MANCHESTER, N.H. – Senior Ryan Donovan (Bridgewater, Mass.) scored a pair of power play goals and tallied an assist on the game-winner by senior Joey Agliato (Hauppauge, N.Y.) as the Saint Anselm men's hockey team needed a full 24 hours to knock off intracity rival Southern New Hampshire, 4-2, in a physical, penalty-filled, pipe-bursting matchup that took two days and two venues to decide.
With exactly 6:17 remaining in the third period and Saint Anselm holding a two-goal lead, local emergency personnel responded to a burst water pipe that set off the alarms at the Ice Den Tuesday night. The final six minutes were resumed at Saint Anselm's Sullivan Arena Wednesday, but the disruption did not alter the final outcome as the Hawks' three unanswered goals shut the door on SNHU.
The win improved Saint Anselm to 7-12-2 overall and 2-1-1 in Northeast-10 Conference play while dropping the Penmen to 9-10-1 overall and 3-6 in league play.
Power play conversions proved the difference in the bizarre two-day matchup, as Saint Anselm converted on three of its six power play chances. For the game, SNHU was whistled for 39 minutes' worth of penalties, while the Hawks were charged with eight minors. The Penmen, however, were scoreless on all of their five chances.
Southern N.H. got off to a rough start, getting hit with a game misconduct penalty just five minutes into the opening frame. Yet the Penmen would steal an early lead just past the midpoint of the first period with a Timothy Bayliss breakaway that rung the pipe—and not of the water-carrying variety—eventually finding the stick of TJ Bond on the carom who promptly put the hosts up 1-0 on a short-handed wrister from the right circle.
Donovan would respond with the Hawks' first power play goal on an assist from senior Kody Grondin (Hampton, N.H.) at the 16:41 mark of the first period, putting away the puck off Grondin's play from the left side of the goal line. The Penmen would quickly retake a lead, however, with a Steven Berry goal less than a minute later and enjoy a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.
Just 26 seconds into the second period, Donovan and Grondin would connect again on a power play goal to tie the game at 2-2. Already with two goals on the night, the sophomore recorded a wrap-around assist on the game-winning goal from senior Joey Agliato (Hauppauge, N.Y.). It was the second goal of the season for Agliato while Donovan picked up his third point of the night and first assist of the year.
The Hawks added an insurance goal on yet another power play midway through the third, as senior Sean Jenkins (Boston, Mass.) played the puck past the left pipe to just outside the right faceoff circle where freshman Easton Miller (Mission Viejo, Calif.) slapped home the fourth and final goal of the game for Saint Anselm.
Freshman goaltender Shane Joyce (Pembroke, Mass.), last week's Northeast-10 Goaltender of the Week, picked up 22 saves on the night(s) and improved to 7-8-2 overall for the Hawks. The Penmen's Matthew Mcinnis took the loss, recording a game-high 23 saves.
The Hawks entered Tuesday night's matchup tied for second place in the NE-10, trailing league-leading Saint Michael's by three points. With a resounding 9-2 victory at Franklin Pierce Tuesday night, the Purple Knights not only locked up a host seed for the NE-10 Championship tournament, but also eliminated Saint Anselm from winning the regular season league crown. The Hawks, however, can still earn a first round host bid as the #2-seed, but they will need an all-important victory over league-unbeaten Stonehill next Tuesday.
Before next week's showdown against the Skyhawks at Sullivan Arena, Saint Anselm will return to ECAC East action this weekend with another regional rivalry game against nearby New England College. The Hawks and Pilgrims will battle at 7 p.m. Friday evening in Henniker, playing the second half of a double-header with the women's program facing off at 4 p.m.
The victory also picked up a big win for Saint Anselm in the inaugural Queen City Cup, keeping the Hawks within striking distance in the standings. Saint Anselm, which trails the Penmen 15-7 after Wednesday, will look to pick up two more points this week as both the women's and men's basketball teams travel to the SNHU Fieldhouse Thursday.