MANCHESTER, N.H.– The Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team dropped its regular season finale on Saturday afternoon against Southern New Hampshire University, 3-1, at Sullivan Arena in a Northeast-10 Conference battle.
The Hawks, who clinched their third-straight NE10 regular season title the night before, finish the regular season with a 15-12-2 overall record and 10-4-1 against NE10 opponents. The Penmen improve to 12-9-4 overall and 7-5-3 in league play. Saint Anselm will host Assumption College on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Sullivan Arena in one of the NE10 Championship Semifinal contests as the top seed. The Greyhounds will be the fourth seed.
The Hawks controlled play in the first period, outshooting its opponent 13-5 in the first frame. That helped them build a 1-0 lead at the 11:49 mark. Junior Trey Aiello (Williamsburg, Va.) skated with the puck in the neutral zone before chipping the puck forward. He found senior Bryan Green (Weymouth, Mass.) splitting two Penmen defenders, who went to beat Kurt Gutting with a backhanded shot. Junior Jake Grade (Falmouth, Maine) had the secondary assist on the play.
Southern New Hampshire came out with energy in the second period and took advantage of a power play opportunity just after eight minutes had gone in the period. After a holding penalty at the 8:04 mark of the period, the Penmen scored 10 seconds later as Jake Cox found the back of the net through traffic from the left point. He received a pass from Joe Fiorino at the top of the point.
The teams combined for 16 shots following the Penmen goal in the period but each goalie made the necessary saves to keep the game tied heading into the second intermission.
The Penmen eventually took the lead at the 7:04 mark of the third period. Chris Moquin took a shot from the left circle that was denied by senior goaltender Colin Soucy (North Andover, Mass.). However, the puck rolled out in front and DJ Goldstein tucked the puck inside the right post to give the visitors a 2-1 advantage.
The Hawks were limited to just three shots on net the remainder of the game. Soucy kept it a one-goal deficit with a point-blank save with 1:40 on the clock. However, an empty-netter with 1:05 remaining by Andy Somerville sealed the victory for the Penmen.
Saint Anselm had a 31-25 advantage in shots, but were outshot 9-7 in the final period. Soucy finished the afternoon with 22 saves in net while Gutting had 30 saves for Southern New Hampshire.