MANCHESTER, N.H. – Senior Jon Pallotta and sophomore Mike Ferraro each recorded a goal and an assist to help the Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team advance to the title game of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship after a 3-1 victory over Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday evening at Sullivan Arena.
A first-period goal from junior Bryan Green and one from Ferraro just 14 seconds into the third put Saint Anselm (16-9-1) in control, but Southern New Hampshire (12-9-3) fought back to get within a goal midway through the final period. However, Pallotta scored less than three minutes later to give the Hawks a two-goal lead they would hold onto.
With the win, the Hawks advanced to their 16th NE10 title game after defeating the Penmen for the fourth time this season and the third time in the last nine games. Saint Anselm owns a league-high nine NE10 Tournament championships.
Newly-minted NE10 Goaltender of the Year Colin Soucy won his sixth-straight start with a 28-save effort in net for Saint Anselm to run his record to 8-4-1 on the season.
Green got the Hawks on the board at 13:49 of the first period, scoring his ninth goal of the season, his fourth against the Penmen. After Ferraro got the puck to the junior in his own end, Green skated all the way to the goal line extended on the left in the offensive zone, turned back and scored from a sharp angle.
Southern New Hampshire outshot Saint Anselm, 14-8, in the opening period but could not find a way past Soucy. The Hawks took 16 of the 25 shots on goal in a scoreless second period, but it was the Penmen who nearly tied the game just 1:15 into the frame when Soucy needed to shut down a Kyle Valliere breakaway to keep Saint Anselm ahead.
Ferraro provided the Hawks with an insurance goal just 14 seconds into the third period, scoring from Pallotta to make it 2-0. Following a Southern New Hampshire turnover behind its own goal, Pallotta fed the puck in front to Ferraro, who fired it past Ryan Slatky on the backhand for his team-high 16th goal of the season.
Chris Moquin, the NE10's joint-leading goal scorer this season, scored his 20th of the season at 11:06 to bring the Penmen within a goal. Moquin skated through the left circle and whistled a wrist shot in under the bar to make it a 2-1 game.
Just 2:28 later, Pallotta gave Saint Anselm its two-goal lead back after good work from NE10 Rookie of the Year Alec Andreucci. After sophomore Jake Grade chipped the puck up ice, Andreucci outskated the Penmen defense and dropped a backhand pass to a trailing Pallotta who had a simple tap-in.
Slatky recorded 35 saves for Southern New Hampshire, falling to 6-7-2 on the season.
Saint Anselm will host second-seeded Saint Michael's with the NE10 title on the line at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 at Sullivan Arena.