MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College men's hockey team got double the Nor'easter punishment in its regular season finale Saturday afternoon as visiting University of New England handled the Hawks, 8-1, at Sullivan Arena on yet another snowy weekend in the Granite State.
The loss drops Saint Anselm to 9-13-3 overall and 7-9-2 in the ECAC East conference while U. of New England improved to 9-13-2 overall with a mirroring 7-9-2 league mark. More importantly for the Nor'easters, the win pulls them into a tie with Castleton College for fourth place in the league standings and the final bid to the upcoming ECAC East Conference tournament next weekend.
UNE put on an offensive clinic at the Hawks' expense Saturday afternoon, scoring four goals in the second period flanked by a pair of two-goal stanzas. Nor'easter freshman Trevor Fleurent recorded four goals and added an assist for a career five-point day. UNE's Ben Pearl and Tom Gildersleeve also racked up multiple assists on the day with four and three, respectively and six different players tallied at least two points in the resounding victory.
Junior Mark Meads (Middleton, Mass.) scored the lone goal for Saint Anselm, recovering the puck off a won faceoff by senior Sean Jenkins (Boston, Mass.) and stuffing it past Nor'easter goaltender Colby Drost at the 6:19 mark of the second period to cut the lead to 3-1.
Despite outshooting UNE 25-20 for the game, Meads' goal was about all Saint Anselm could muster as the Nor'easters handed the Hawks their second seven-goal loss of the season—the first coming in a season-opening shutout at the hands of Babson College.
Freshman goaltender Shane Joyce (Pembroke, Mass.) took the loss, giving up six goals and recording eight saves. Brendan Cain (Coppell, Texas) entered the game after the second intermission and recorded four saves in his third appearance of the season.
The Hawks will await their fate for the upcoming Northeast-10 Championship tournament semifinal round next weekend, as three games remain on the composite league slate. Saturday night's Stonehill-Assumption game was postponed due to Winter Storm Neptune and a makeup date has not yet been released. Saint Anselm, which is a guaranteed #3-seed, will travel to either Saint Michael's or Stonehill, who are currently tied atop the league standings.
Former Saint Anselm College men's hockey alumni were recognized during the first intermission of Saturday's game, including former 100-point scorers and four former Hawk Hockey All-Americans. Women's hockey alumnae and program founders were also honored on the afternoon, and the dedication of a rinkside bronze hawk statue highlighted a busy weekend at Sullivan Arena.