MANCHESTER, N.H. – In its first-ever appearance at the venue, the Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team closed out the regular season with a 4-1 victory over crosstown-rival Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday afternoon at SNHU Arena.
Junior Bryan Green scored twice and classmate Jeremy Carignan added a goal and an assist to lead the way offensively for Saint Anselm (15-9-1, 11-4-0 NE10). In his second start of the season, senior Brenden Cain made a career-high 23 saves to limit Southern New Hampshire (12-8-3, 6-7-2 NE10) to a single goal to help the Hawks complete a three-game regular-season sweep of the Penmen and win their sixth-straight game overall.
The two teams were assured of facing each other in the opening round of the Northeast-10 Conference Men's Ice Hockey Championship after results the night before. Saint Anselm and Southern New Hampshire will collide in the semifinals of the tournament on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. at Sullivan Arena.
Saint Anselm's 15 regular-season wins were the team's most since the 2005-06 team won 15 games during the regular season as part of a 17-win season. The six-game winning streak is the longest for the Hawks since a seven-game run from Nov. 27, 2005 to Jan. 6, 2006.
For the second-straight day, Southern New Hampshire took a 1-0 lead, as DJ Goldstein tucked away a pass from behind the net from Chris Moquin at 15:54 of the opening period. The Hawks outshot the Penmen, 15-11, in the opening period, but Ryan Slatky turned aside all 15 Saint Anselm shots as Southern New Hampshire went into the first intermission ahead by a goal.
Saint Anselm started the second with 20 seconds of a 5-on-3 and 57 seconds of a 5-on-4 power play after a pair of late first-period penalties by the Penmen. Southern New Hampshire killed off both penalties before firing five shots on Cain in the first three minutes of the period, but the senior turned aside all five to keep the score 1-0.
At 7:22 of the second, Green tied the game at 1-1 with his first goal of the game from Mike Ferraro and Justin Longo. Ferraro and Longo combined to force a turnover at the Penmen blue line and Ferraro fed the puck from right to left to Green, who blasted home a one-timer from the inside edge of the left circle.
Slatky made saves to deny Dave Almeida and Joey Harrington in the ensuing five minutes but Saint Anselm was rewarded for its pressure later in the period. With 2:38 remaining in the period, Carignan tipped in a Shawn Moors slap shot from the left point from in front of the net to put the Hawks up 2-1 after two.
Just 1:45 into the third period, Saint Anselm nearly extended its lead to 3-1 when Carignan fired a rebound wide on the back door after Brian Cameron set up Ferraro for a one-timer in close. Five minutes later, Cain preserved the Hawks' one-goal lead, denying Moquin, the NE10's leading scorer, on a breakaway.
Slatky produced a save to thwart Jon Pallotta on a 2-on-1 with a little over six minutes remaining before Saint Anselm added two late goals to pull away. Carignan and Green connected for Green's second of the afternoon at 17:06 and freshman Alec Andreucci added an empty-netter at 19:06 to close the scoring.
Slatky finished with 32 saves for the Penmen, who were outshot 36-24 by the Hawks in the game. The two teams combined to go 0-for-7 on the power play.