PREVIEW: Men's ice hockey to face Saint Michael's for NE10 title

 

MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team hosts Saint Michael's College in the championship game of the 2018 Northeast-10 Conference Ice Hockey Championship at Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 3 at 3:30 p.m.

LINKS: NE10 Championship Home | NE10 Release/Bracket | Saint Anselm Game Notes | Live Stats | Live Video

SETTING THE STAGE: Saint Anselm has appeared in all 19 Northeast-10 Tournaments, qualifying this season after winning the 13th NE10 regular-season title in program history. The Hawks locked up the top seed in the four-team tournament with 22 points in the regular season to finish three points ahead of the Purple Knights. The Hawks advanced to the title game with a 3-1 win over fourth-seeded Southern New Hampshire last Saturday, while the second-seeded Purple Knights edged third-seeded Assumption, 6-5, in overtime on home ice.

TOURNAMENT TIME: The semifinal win over Southern New Hampshire moved the Hawks to 26-8 (.765) all-time in the NE10 Championship. Saint Anselm is appearing in its league-high 16th championship game and is seeking to win its NE10-best 10th tournament title. The Hawks last won the NE10 Tournament in 2014-15, defeating the Purple Knights, 6-3, in South Burlington, Vt.

WINNING STREAK: Saint Anselm is currently riding a seven-game winning streak, which dates back to a 2-1 loss at Saint Michael's on Friday, Feb. 2. Since then, the Hawks have outscored their opponents, 29-12, over the program's longest winning streak since the 2005-06 team won seven in a row from Nov. 27, 2005 through Jan. 6, 2006.

SO, WE MEET AGAIN: Saint Anselm and Saint Michael's are meeting for the 10th time in the postseason with the Hawks holding a slender 5-4 advantage in the first nine head-to-head matchups, although Saint Anselm has won the last three. Six of the previous nine postseason meetings came in the NE10 Championship game, with Saint Michael's winning four of the six.

THE HONOR IS MINE: Junior goaltender Colin Soucy and freshman forward Alec Andreucci took home major awards, while sophomore forward Mike Ferraro and senior defenseman Nick Gorski were First Team All-Northeast-10 Conference selections as the league announced its all-conference teams last week. Soucy became Saint Anselm's 10th Goaltender of the Year in the 17 seasons of the award, while Andreucci became the second-straight Hawk to be named the league's Rookie of the Year (Trey Aiello - 2016-17).

BE LIKE MIKE: Ferraro has enjoyed a breakout sophomore season, ranking third in the NE10 in goals (15) and leading the conference in game-winning goals (5). One of just six NE10 skaters to record a hat trick this season, Ferraro's 15 goals are the most by a Saint Anselm skater since 2012-13 (Mike Richard - 20, Liam McKillop - 16) and include five multi-goal games.

LEADING ROOKIE: Andreucci was named Saint Anselm's sixth-ever Rookie of the Year and has compiled 25 points on nine goals and a team-high 16 assists this season. His 25 points are the most by a Saint Anselm rookie since Johnny Daniels had 28 in 2011-12 and are more than twice as many as the next rookie (three tied with 12). The three-time NE10 Rookie of the Week has four games with at least three points this season.

FOND OF FEBRUARY: In the month of February, Saint Anselm went 7-1 and outscored its opponents, 30-13, over the eight games. The Hawks posted their best month in terms of goals per game (3.75) and goals-against average (1.63).

BETWEEN THE PIPES: Dating back to Feb. 3, Soucy has won his last six starts, posting a 1.67 goals-against average and .942 save percentage over that span. The junior has posted at least 25 saves in 10 of his 13 starts this season, including a career-high 34 in a 4-2 win at Saint Michael's on Feb. 3.

ON THE PENALTY KILL: Saint Anselm has killed off 52 of its last 58 penalties for a penalty-kill percentage of 90.0 percent since Jan. 12. The Hawks have not allowed more than one power-play goal in a game since a 4-0 loss at Plymouth State on Dec. 9. FIRE AWAY: Saint Anselm has outshot its opponents in six-straight games dating back to Feb. 9. The Hawks have fired more shots on goal than their opponents in 18-of-26 games this season and are 13-5 in those games, compared to 3-4-1 when being outshot in 2017-18.

COACHES GOT IT RIGHT: Saint Anselm and Saint Michael's were picked to finish first and second, respectively, in the Northeast-10 Ice Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll. Both teams received three first-place votes in the poll.

BEHIND THE BENCH: The Hawks are under the direction of first-year head coach Jim Tortorella, who was named Saint Anselm's seventh head men's ice hockey coach on May 15, 2017. Tortorella spent 16 seasons as the head coach at Colby College from 1995-2011 and remains the winningest coach in program history with a career record of 230-138-33 (.615). He has over two decades of experience at the collegiate level, including time at Providence College and the University of New Hampshire.

STRONG IN THE SECOND: Saint Anselm's best period of the season has been the second, as the Hawks have outscored their opponents, 35-22, in the middle period. The Hawks have outscored their opposition in all three periods.

PUT IT IN THE BOOKS: Saint Anselm is perfect over the last two seasons when leading after one period (15-0-0) and two periods (22-0-0). 

RACKING UP THE WINS: Saint Anselm's 15 wins during the regular season were the program's most since the 2005-06 team won 15 games during the regular season as part of a 17-win, NE10 Championship-winning season.

HOME ICE: This afternoon, the Hawks are in search of their 10th win at Sullivan Arena, where Saint Anselm is 9-4-0 this season. The nine home victories are Saint Anselm's most since 2012-13 (10-3-0) and a 10th victory would match the 2012-13 and 2004-05 teams for the most since 1999-00.

SUSTAINED SUCCESS: With 16 wins this season, Saint Anselm put together its 15th-straight double-digit win season. The 16 victories are tied with the 2012-13 team for the most since 2005-06 (17-8-2).

IN THE GOAL: Three goaltenders have seen time in net for the Hawks this season, helping Saint Anselm post the highest save percentage (.917) and lowest goals-against average (2.26) since at least 1999-00.