PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team skated to a 1-1 tie against Plattsburgh State during the championship game of the W.B. Mason Winter Classic on Saturday at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena. However, the Cardinals were crowned tournament champions following a shootout goal by the Cardinals' Pat Egan on their fourth attempt.
The Hawks are now 8-8-1 on the year while Plattsburgh State sits at 6-5-2. Saint Anselm returns home for a pair of games against Northeast-10 Conference foe Stonehill College. The first game is on Friday, Jan. 11 for a 7 p.m. puck drop from Sullivan Arena as part of Alumni Weekend. Junior Mike Ferraro (Northbridge, Mass.) was named to the All-Tournament Team comprised of six players from all four teams that competed over the weekend.
The Cardinals struck quickly in the first 55 seconds of the game. A shot from the point was stopped by senior goaltender Colin Soucy (North Andover, Mass.) but Egan found the rebound and put the hosts ahead 1-0.
Plattsburgh went on the power play with exactly 13 minutes to play in the opening period. However, Soucy faced only one shot and turned it away to keep it a one-goal deficit for the Hawks.
With under 10 minutes to play in the first, senior Bryan Green (Weymouth, Mass.) had a great chance to tie the game with a shot from the slot. Cardinals goalie Lawson Fenton made the pad save, pushing the puck aside to keep his team ahead by one.
Although their shot total was low, the Hawks finally found the equalizer at the 14-minute mark of the period. Junior Liam O'Sullivan (North Hampton, N.H.) sent a wrist shot through a screen in front of the net and Ferraro tipped the puck by Fenton to make it 1-1.
Saint Anselm continued to pressure Plattsburgh with a loose puck around the net. However, Fenton was able to cover the puck to force a faceoff. The Hawks had a power play chance of their own but a pair of shots by senior Jeremy Carignan (Amos, Quebec, Canada) were stopped by Fenton to keep the game even.
A shot by junior Dave Almeida (Bristol, R.I.) just before seven minutes elapsed in the second period nearly went in to give the Hawks a lead, but clanked off the post and bounced wide.
The Cardinals had a few opportunities just past 10 minutes elapsed in the period. Four shots on net over the next two minutes were all stopped by Soucy to keep the game even at one goal.
A late penalty against the Hawks with 1:44 remaining in the second frame put them shorthanded that carried over into the final period. The Hawks outshot Plattsburgh 12-11 in the second period.
Plattsburgh nearly took a lead just after the two minute mark of the third period. A centering pass directly in front of the net and found the stick of Philip Middleton, but Soucy made a diving save across the crease to move the puck out of danger.
The Hawks went on the power play with 9:45 left in regulation. Green sent a blast from the point but was denied by Lawson early and Plattsburgh was able to kill off the penalty successfully.
Each team had great chances in the final three minutes but both goaltenders came up big to keep the contest tied late. The Hawks went back on the power play after the Cardinals were assessed a five-minute major penalty with 1:28 left in regulation. The Hawks put two shots on goal during the overtime period before a penalty against the visitors ended the extended power play. Both teams skated four-on-four before the Cardinals went on the power play. However, they could not take advantage of the short man-advantage. After successful kills by both teams, the game went to a shootout.
Soucy finished with 32 saves in net for the Hawks while Fenton stopped 35 shots. Saint Anselm had a 36-33 edge in shots.