MANCHESTER, N.H. – Competing in the longest overtime contest in Northeast-10 Conference postseason history, freshman Anthony Iacullo (Barrington, Ill.) swiped home the game-winning goal only 2:25 into the third overtime period to propel the Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team to a 2-1 victory in the league semifinals on Saturday.
Saint Anselm improves to 16-12-2 and will battle its cross-town rivals, the Penmen from Southern New Hampshire University, on Saturday, Mar. 2. Assumption sees its season come to a close with a 15-9-3 overall record, entering the NE10 postseason as the fourth seed. The top seeded Hawks will play the second-seeded Penmen, thanks to their 3-2 win over Saint Michael's on Saturday.
More information about the Hawks' championship game appearance will be released in the coming days.
The Hawks will be in search of their league-leading 11th tournament championship since its formation in 1999-00. Last season, the Hawks won their first NE10 title since the 2014-15 campaign and will battle the Penmen in the championship game for the first time since 2005-06. Saint Anselm is now a commanding 28-9 in all-time NE10 postseason play.
Saint Anselm backstop Colin Soucy (North Andover, Mass.) made a career-high 56 saves in the game, including 21 in a scoreless first overtime period. He would finish the contest with 25 overtime saves, keeping the Hawks in contention throughout the extra 42:25 of game play.
The game-winning goal came shortly into the third overtime as a blocked shot by the Hawks in the defensive zone sparked transition up the ice. Freshman Kilian Hammersmith (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) swatted the puck forward, leading a three-on-two rush alongside Iacullo and senior Bryan Green (Weymouth, Mass.). The initial shot attempt by Hammersmith was blocked down before a falling Iacullo batted the puck home for the score.
Assumption's Matt Damelio put the game's first goal on the board only 58 seconds into the third period, using his 11th goal of the season to create a 1-0 lead for the visitors. Junior Mike Ferraro (Northbridge, Mass.) drew the game even at one in the third period's 11th minute, scoring off a pass from sophomore Alec Andreucci (Guilford, Conn.) for the equalizer.
The Greyhounds posted 57 shots in the game, limiting the Hawks to only 32 attempts on goal. The Greyhounds had 32 shots through three periods and, as mentioned earlier, had 21 in the first overtime period alone. The Hawks never had more than eight shots in a period, but scored on the third overtime's first shot attempt by either team.
Assumption backstop David Zulauf drew the loss, making 30 saves on 32 shots.