Aiello leads men's ice hockey past Wesleyan, 4-1

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team downed Wesleyan University, 4-1, on Saturday afternoon in a non-conference contest at the Spurrier-Snyder Rink.

Box Score

The Hawks improve to 6-4 overall while the Cardinals fall to 2-1 on the year. Junior Trey Aiello (Williamsburg, Va.) picked up his first-career hat trick while junior classmate Sean Verrier (Reading, Mass.) had two assists, both coming on Aiello's first two tallies of the game.

The first period was scoreless with an 11-7 edge in shots of Wesleyan. The Hawks were able to kill a pair of penalties that saw freshman goaltender Michal Soustal (Unicov, Czech Republic) make three saves.

Saint Anselm finally struck in the second period with 2:42 elapsed. While short-handed, Verrier had the puck held in the offensive zone against the boards. He found Aiello wide-open in the slot, who one-timed a slap shot over the pads of George Blinick to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.

The Hawks added to their lead at 13:12 of the second stanza. Following a turnover at the blue line, senior captain Jeremy Carignan (Amos, Quebec) nudged a loose puck to the lower right side of the net. Sophomore Michael Foggia (Rumson, N.J.) scooped up the puck and sent it home to make it 2-0 for his first-career tally. Junior Dave Almeida (Bristol, R.I.) had the secondary assist on the play.

Wesleyan cut the lead in half just over two minutes elapsed in the third period. After a couple saves by Soustal withstood the initial pressure, Tyler Wyatt sent a centering pass right in front of the net. Sean Ross one-timed a shot by the blocker of Soustal to make it 2-1 in favor of the Hawks.

The Cardinals were given a power play chance at the 4:12 mark of the third, but were only able to get one shot on net during the span. The Hawks countered with pressure following the penalty, putting two quick shots on net but Blinick made a pair of saves to keep it a one-goal deficit.

However, the Hawks added to their lead thanks to another Verrier to Aiello connection at 10:31 of the third period. Verrier battled with the puck in the corner and found Aiello just over the left circle for a one-timer again that went to the glove side of Blinick. Sophomore John Femia (Canton, Mass.) also assisted on the tally.

Soustal made a pair of point-blank saves with 6:30 left in the third period to keep Saint Anselm ahead by two goals. Aiello secured the victory with his third tally of the game with an empty-netter with 1:24 remaining in regulation.

Soustal finished with 28 saves in net while his counterpart Blinick stopped 16 shots. Wesleyan outshot Saint Anselm 29-20 in the game while both teams were 0-for-4 on the power play.

The Hawks will head to Hartford, Conn. on Sunday, Nov. 25 to take on Trinity College. The Bantams are ranked 10th in the latest USCHO Division III National poll.