MANCHESTER, N.H. – Sophomore Jake Grade scored a hat trick as part of a four-point night to power the Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team to a 6-3 victory over Northeast-10 Conference foe Assumption College on Friday evening at Sullivan Arena.
Grade entered the night with one goal and two assists in his young career before breaking out for a hat trick and an assist for Saint Anselm (8-7-1, 5-2 NE10), which picked up its fourth-straight NE10 victory. Grade's hat trick in the win over Assumption (7-8-2, 3-5-1 NE10) was the first by a Hawks' defenseman since Brian Dobler '07 also had three goals and an assist in a 10-2 victory over Franklin Pierce on Jan. 9, 2007.
In addition to Grade's big night, freshman John Femia recorded a goal and an assist, while sophomore Trey Aiello and junior Brian Cameron each had two assists. Junior Joey Harrington scored the first goal of his Saint Anselm career and freshman Matt Chisholm also scored as freshmen and sophomores accounted for five of Saint Anselm's six goals.
It did not take Grade long to open the scoring as he fired a wrist shot through traffic in front from just inside the blue line on the right after just 1:04. Femia made it a quick 2-0 lead for the Hawks, lifting a backhand into the roof of the net after Aiello and Cameron set him up in front.
The two-goal lead lasted just 19 seconds, however, as John Chamberlain pulled one back for Assumption. Grade pushed the lead back to two just three minutes later on the power play, sneaking the puck in on the near side from the middle of the left circle after Alec Andreucci and Nick Gorski played catch with the puck on a 5-on-3 power play.
Grade finished off his hat trick at 7:03 of the second, teeing up a slap shot from just outside the right circle. Harrington made it 5-1 off an Aiello assist at 13:54 of the second, firing the puck through the legs of David Zulauf, who replaced David Altman after Grade's second goal, from the slot.
Chisholm scored the Hawks' final goal of the game just 22 seconds after Harrington's tally to give Saint Anselm four unanswered goals. The freshman found the back of the net with a wrist shot from the right circle after receiving the puck at center ice from Grade and Cameron.
Assumption scored a pair of goals late in the third period to make it a 6-3 final, getting the first goals of the season from Kieran Peters and Matt Drake in the space of less than three minutes inside the final four minutes of the game.
Reigning NE10 Goaltender of the Week Shane Joyce picked up his third victory in his last three starts with a 17-save effort. Zulauf made 11 saves in relief of Altman, who had a pair of stops in his 8:31 in net.
Assumption was 1-for-5 on the power play in the game, while Saint Anselm converted on one of its two chances. The Greyhounds held a slender 20-19 lead in shots for the game.
The Hawks and Greyhounds return to the ice to finish off their three-game regular-season series at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20. The game will close a hockey doubleheader at Sullivan Arena on Pink In The Rink/Alumni Weekend for Saint Anselm.