PREVIEW: Men's ice hockey, Southern N.H. to meet in NE10 Championship

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Queen City Cup rivalry will be taken to the next level on Saturday, Mar. 2, as the top-seeded Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team will host the number two-seeded Penmen from Southern New Hampshire University in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship at Sullivan Arena at 1 p.m. 

The Hawks advanced to their second-straight finals appearance with a thrilling triple-overtime 2-1 victory over Assumption last weekend while the Penmen defeated Saint Michael's, 3-2, at the Ice Den on the same day.

QUEEN CITY CUP MATCHUP: In addition to battling for a NE10 championship on Saturday afternoon, there are two Queen City Cup points on the line with this contest. The two schools are deadlocked in the race for the coveted cup trophy, 13-13. The men's ice hockey team earned the Hawks two points by virtue of their season series win against the Penmen, winning two of the three regular season matchups. Postseason meetings between the two schools are worth two points each. Saint Anselm won its first-ever Queen City Cup title in 2017-18, defeating Southern New Hampshire, 21-15.

LIVE STATS | VIDEO

TICKET INFORMATION: Ticket prices are set at $6 for adults, $4 for children and senior citizens, and $1 for students with a valid NE-10 ID. ALL SAINT ANSELM STUDENTS will be admitted FREE with valid student ID.

LAST TIME OUT: Competing in the longest game in NE10 postseason history, freshman Anthony Iacullo (Barrington, Ill.) swiped home the game-winning goal only 2:25 into the third overtime period to propel the Hawks to a 2-1 victory over the Greyhounds. 

Junior Mike Ferraro (Northbridge, Mass.) found the equalizer in the 11th minute of the third period. Senior goaltender Colin Soucy (North Andover, Mass.) finished the game with a career-high 56 saves, with 21 of his 25 overtime stops coming in the first overtime period.

SCOUTING SAINT ANSELM:  

  • Saint Anselm, celebrating its 50th season of varsity ice hockey in 2018-19, reached the 16-win mark for only the third time since the 2006-07 season after Saturday's win over Assumption. It's the eighth time in program history the Hawks have reached 16 or more wins in a season.
  • The Hawks had five student-athletes named to the All-Conference Teams. Ferraro, along with juniors Dave Almeida (Bristol, R.I.), Liam O'Sullivan (North Hampton, N.H.) and Sean Verrier (Reading, Mass.) all earned Second-Team honors while Iacullo landed on the All-Rookie Team.
  • Verrier led the team with 21 points (10-21=21) and had a pair of game-winning tallies. Ferraro potted a team-high 21 goals with four power play goals and a trio of game-winning strikes.
  • Iacullo led all rookies on the team with 19 points (9-10=19). O'Sullivan had the most assists on the team with 14.
  • Freshman Kilian Hammersmith (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) has notched at least one point in four of his last five games (2-3=5) and set up the triple-overtime game winner, initiating the play in the Hawks defensive zone with a takeaway.
  • Soucy posted a 2.67 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage with a 14-11-2 record in net. Across the last four games, Soucy has produced a save percentage of .978, yielding only three goals on 134 shots alongside two shutouts.
  • The Hawks offense put in just over three goals per game across 30 games this season.

SCOUTING SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE:

  • The Penmen enter the game as the second seed after finishing the regular season in second place in the NE10 standings. Southern New Hampshire has a 13-9-4 record coming into the title game after defeating Saint Michael's, 3-2, in the other semifinal game at the Ice Den on Saturday.
  • Senior Brett Strawn led the Penmen with 22 (9-13=22) points. His nine goals are the most on the team. Strawn and freshman Jake Cox both have 13 assists.
  • Senior Chris Moquin notched 20 points (8-12=20), including three power play goals.
  • NE10 Goaltender of the Year Kurt Gutting posted a 10-5-4 record and boasted a goals-against average of 2.13 along with a .936 save percentage, both good for second in the NE10. Gutting entered the season as the all-time Northeast-10 leader in career save percentage (.941).
  • The Penmen produced 3.19 goals per game on offense while the defense allowed just 2.19 goals per contest.

NE10 POSTSEASON ALL-TIME:

  • Since the league's inception in the 1999-00 season, the Hawks have won 10 NE10/ECAC Division II Championship Tournament titles in program history.
  • Saint Anselm has a commanding 28-9 all-time record in NE10 postseason play, far and away leading all programs since 1999-00
  • The Hawks have won 14 Regular Season Championships, including this season.

HEAD COACHES: 

  • Saint Anselm head coach Larry Rocha '79 opened his first season at the helm of the program with a 15-12-2 regular season record and 10-4-1 against NE10 opponents. He is now 16-12-2 overall in his first year after last Saturday's thrilling win over Assumption. 
  • Rocha previously served as the assistant coach of the Hawks since the beginning of the 2013-14 season. He became the first alumnus to lead the team since Tom Birmingham '76 did so from 1979 to 1985.
  • Southern New Hampshire head coach Sean Walsh was named the sixth coach in Penmen history prior to the 2017-18 season. He led the squad to its first season above the .500 winning percentage mark in 2017-18 and enters Saturday's championship with an overall record of 25-18-7.
  • Walsh joined the Penmen from NCAA Division III UMass Boston where he served as the top assistant, racking up seven consecutive winning seasons and an overall record of 151-53-16 and an appearance in the NCAA Division III Frozen Four.

ALL-TIME vs. SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE: 

  • The Hawks hold a 36-6-1 all-time record against the Penmen and Saint Anselm won the season-series this year, 2-1. The latest Hawks victory clinched the NE10 Regular Season title. Southern New Hampshire won the regular season finale at Sullivan Arena on Feb. 16 by a 3-1 margin.
  • Entering Saturday's title game, it will be the 12th overall meeting between the two schools in the postseason. The Hawks have a 10-1 advantage in the previous 11 playoff contests.
  • This will be the fifth time the two programs have met in the title game, with all four previous contests going in favor of the Hawks. The last title game between both teams was a 5-3 win for Saint Anselm during the 2005-2006 season.