PICTURED ABOVE, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Brian Murphy '84, Coleman Noonan '11, James Morris '75, Robert Nigro '74, Tom Menicci '94, Jim Merola '05
MANCHESTER, N.H. – The 2018-19 season marks the 50th for the Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey program. In recognition of those greats who helped make the program what it is today, the Department of Athletics is pleased to announce a "Hilltop Hockey All-Time Team." The selections will be released in four installments throughout the 2018-19 men's ice hockey season, recognizing Hawks student-athletes from years past for their athletic success.
The list will be comprised of 22 individuals and revealed in no particular order:
- Nine forwards
- Six defensemen
- Three goaltenders
- Two head coaches
- Two at-large selections
The next edition of the "Hilltop Hockey All-Time Team" will be released in early January prior to the annual Alumni Weekend scheduled for Jan. 11-12, 2019. Please contact Head Coach Larry Rocha '79 for more information.
F – Brian Murphy – 1980-84
Brian Murphy was a four-year member of the Saint Anselm men's ice hockey team, appearing in all 98 possible games of his career. Serving as a team captain as a senior, Murphy capped a successful career with 85 career goals and 90 assists for 175 career points (85-90=175). He was inducted into the Saint Anselm Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993.
He posted five hat tricks in 1982-83 alone, standing as the single-season team record at the time. During that campaign, he regularly found himself among the statistical leaders in ECAC Division II – he finished the year with 56 points, the ninth-most in a single season to date. Murphy is presently one of only six student-athletes in program history to reach 30 goals in one season.
F – Coleman Noonan – 2007-11
A four-year member of the men's ice hockey program at Saint Anselm, Noonan scored 50 goals and added 66 assists for 116 career points (50-66=116) across a 100-game career. The two-time team captain was an All-USCHO East Second Team pick as a junior and became the fifth student-athlete in team history to earn AHCA Division II/III All-America honors that same season.
As a junior, Noonan was the recipient of the Joe Concannon Award and won Northeast-10 Conference and Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year recognition after scoring 23 goals and 24 assists for 47 points (23-24=47) in only 27 games. He was also selected as the New England Hockey Writers Association Most Valuable Player after his outstanding junior season at Saint Anselm.
F – James Morris – 1971-75
The late James (Jim) Morris, inducted into the first-ever Athletics Hall of Fame class at Saint Anselm, was a standout ice hockey player for the Hawks and is one of only three student-athletes in team history to reach 200 career points (103-97=200). His 103 goals currently ranks second in program history and his 97 assists stand as the fourth-most by any Hawks skater.
The captain of the 1974-75 team, he led his squad with 66 points off of 35 goals and 31 assists (35-31=66) and picked up AHCA Division II/III All-America honors for his tremendous efforts as a senior. He also put home 29 goals as a freshman in 1971-72, laying the groundwork for Saint Anselm hockey by helping the Hawks to a 14-7 record in only the team's third varsity season.
The fledgling program would rack up a 56-33-1 record during his career.
D – Robert Nigro – 1970-74
Robert Nigro was an outstanding defenseman for the early Saint Anselm men's ice hockey programs. A 1985 inductee to the Athletics Hall of Fame and the first-ever defenseman selected for the exclusive club, Nigro helped the Hawks to two appearances in the ECAC Division II Tournament and was a key member of teams that compiled 51 victories from 1970 through 1974.
From the blueline, Nigro contributed beyond his defensive prowess with six goals and 16 assists for 22 career points (6-16=22).
D – Tom Menicci – 1990-94
Defenseman Tom Menicci patrolled the blue line for Saint Anselm in the early 1990's, captaining the team as a senior in 1993-94. A two-time team captain, Menicci finished his career with 101 career points via 35 goals and 66 assists (35-66=101) after notching at least 15 assists in each of his four seasons on the Hilltop.
Menicci was selected as a First Team ECAC East Men's Ice Hockey All-Star selection in 1994, powering the Hawks to their first winning season in just shy of 20 years. He also earned a spot on the New England College Hockey Writers East All-Star Team as a senior.
G – Jim Merola – 2001-05
Jim Merola backstopped the men's ice hockey team to 37 wins over a four-year career at Saint Anselm. Across over 4,400 minutes of action, Merola compiled a 3.28 goals-against average and made 1,957 saves alongside an .890 save percentage. The two-time NE10 Goaltender of the Year was one of the first student-athletes in team history to earn First Team All-Conference honors twice in a career.
In 2003-04, Merola posted 15 wins to help the Hawks to their only 20-win season in team history. During his senior season, he propelled the Hawks to an NE10 Championship after posting a league-leading save percentage of .905. His strong play in the PAL Cup during the 2001-02 season also earned him Most Valuable Player honors, netting Saint Anselm its first title since 1996.