WORCESTER, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team trailed late in regulation against Assumption College on Tuesday night in a battle of the top-two teams in the Northeast-10 Conference (NE10). However, senior Kevin Curley (Avon, Mass.) scored the game-tying goal with two seconds left in regulation to help salvage a 2-2 tie with the Greyhounds at Buffone Arena.
The Hawks sit at 12-11-2 overall with a 7-3-1 mark against NE10 opponents. The Greyhounds are now 14-6-2 on the year and 7-5-3 in league play. Assumption sits in first place in the NE10 standings with 15 points while Saint Anselm has 13 points in second place.
With two seconds left in the clock and the Hawks net empty, Curley found the equalizer to get the game into overtime tied at two. After a clutch faceoff win in the offensive zone with under 10 seconds remaining, Curley fired a shot through traffic from the left point, beating Assumption netminder David Zulauf to tie the game at two.
Assumption came out with pressure to start the game, firing a pair of shots on net in the first 47 seconds that Hawks senior goaltender Colin Soucy (North Andover, Mass.) had to stop.
Soucy had to make two more saves before the five-minute mark but the Greyhounds finally broke through on their fifth shot of the game as Matt Drake gave the hosts a 1-0 lead at the 5:48 mark.
Junior Sean Verrier (Reading, Mass.) had the first good look for the Hawks just before the midway point of the period, skating right down the middle of the ice before his shot was covered by Zulauf.
Saint Anselm went shorthanded just before the 13-minute mark of the opening period and were able to kill it off as Soucy just faced one shot on net to keep it a one-goal deficit.
The Hawks were finally able to maintain possession and put pressure on Assumption, finding the equalizer with 3:17 left in the first period. Freshman Kilian Hammersmith (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) screened Zulauf and tipped the puck home to make it 1-1. Sophomore Matt Chisholm (Scituate, Mass.) and junior Dave Almeida (Bristol, R.I.) added assists on the goal as the teams skated to a 1-1 tie after the first 20 minutes.
It was a back and forth final period after the midway point. Saint Anselm outshot the Greyhounds by a seven-to-four margin over the next several minutes, but Assumption took the lead with 1:07 left to play in regulation. Khalil East put his team ahead by one goal with the late tally just 1:05 before Curley's late-game heroics.
The Hawks outshot Assumption 32-24 in the game with Soucy making 22 saves in net. Zulauf finished the night with 30 stops.
Saint Anselm returns home on Friday, Feb. 8 to take on the Ravens from Franklin Pierce University at Sullivan Arena. The NE10 Conference tilt is set for 7 p.m.