Men’s hockey victorious in last two road games, now 5-4

Dan Flatley, Crier Staff

The Saint Anselm men’s hockey team roared back after a hard fought loss to SNHU Nov. 29 with two strong performances over the weekend of Dec. 2 and Dec. 4 against Daniel Webster and Southern Maine.  The team now sits at 5-4 overall and 2-1 in the NE-10.

The Hawks started the week with a loss 3-2 in a Northeast 10 conference game against rival Southern New Hampshire.  The Penmen found a way to come out on top at the end of the game despite the Hawks dominating much of the play throughout the game and the Hawks outshot the Penmen 49 to 32, with a massive 24-6 shot advantage in the second period.  After two periods the Penmen led on the scoreboard 2-0, but the Hawks had a shot advantage of 35-18.

In the end, special teams proved to be the difference in this match up, with each team having five power plays and each team scoring once shorthanded.  One of the three former Hawk students on the Penmen squad, Chris Moquin, was able to score the game’s only 5 on 5 goal.  His goal was the opening goal, coming at 13:40 of the first period.

The Hawks fell behind 2-0 after 2 periods and could not complete the comeback in the third.  The Hawks did tie the game with 5:06 remaining in regulation on a goal scored by senior Peter Sikalis. Although, The Penmen were able to score the game-winner via a shorthanded goal with just 1:34 left in regulation

In an interview with the Crier, senior forward Brendon Kerrigan stressed, “We outplayed [SNHU] in all 3 zones, but we didn’t do all the little things right.”  When asked about the game winner Kerrigan said, “[SNHU] got a good bounce right then.  It was a bad break, but at the end of the day we had a five minute power play to end the game.”

The game winning goal was scored after Peter Sikalis attempted a shot from the right point on the power play that was blocked down low and bounced directly on to the stick of Southern New Hampshire junior forward Timothy Baylis for a breakaway.  Baylis beat Saint Anselm junior goalie Shane Joyce with a nice move that saw the puck end up in the back of the net.

The Hawks certainly know the Penmen very well being cross-town rivals, but especially because of the two former teammates and a former Hawk student playing for the Penmen.  Juniors Alec Cochran and Griffin Rogers are former Hawk varsity hockey players and junior Chris Moquin is a former club hockey player at Saint Anselm.

Asked about how the Hawks prepared for the Penmen knowing how close the teams are, Kerrigan emphasized, “It’s better not to have any personal attachment like that to the game.  We tried to play them like they were any other team.”  Unfortunately the Penmen were able to beat the Hawks in the end, but the weekend brought different results for the Hawks.

The week proved to be a great week of practice for the Hawks and their preparation proved enough after their two wins this past weekend.  The Hawks absolutely crushed the lowly Daniel Webster Eagles with a final score of 10-2 on Friday, December 1.  Freshman forward Mike Ferraro and sophomore forward Jeremy Carignan led the way with 2 goals each.  All three goaltenders saw action with junior Shane Joyce getting the start and the win.  Sophomore Colin Soucy and junior Brenden Cain then both saw significant playing time in the blow out win.

When asked about the preparation for the weekend games Brendon Kerrigan explained, “The day after the SNHU loss we had a really tough practice and coach [Ed Seney] was really stern on us.  I actually think that helped a lot.  He is not usually overly stern on us.  He does not believe in skating us just for the sake of skating us; he believes that there is a time to get the skating in and a time to work on stuff and on Wednesday we had a really tough practice and I think that really set the tone for the weekend.”

The Hawks preparations paid off again on Saturday with an important 4-1 win against the University of Southern Maine Huskies.  The game was close through the first two periods, but the Hawks finished very strong with a three goal third period to put away the Huskies.  The Hawks had four different goal scorers in the game, being Brendon Kerrigan, freshman Trey Aiello, freshman Mike Ferraro, and senior Vin D’Amato. Ferraro won NEHC Rookie of the Week after a four point weekend. Junior Shane Joyce got the start and win in net again for the Hawks.

Joyce is now 5-3-0 on the year with a .931 save percentage and 1.98 goals against average.  When asked about the slow start in the game Saturday Kerrigan attributed that to the way the Friday night blowout ended, explaining that sometimes teams come out slow after games where young players get most of the playing time in the end of a blowout.

Overall, Kerrigan stated, “We’re very happy with the weekend and we are looking forward to the upcoming week and game against NEC [New England College].”

The Hawks end the semester with a home game on Friday, Dec. 9, at 7:00 PM against New England College at Sullivan Arena.  The game will be a “Christmas themed game” according to Kerrigan.  The team is hoping to have fans show up in ugly sweaters, Santa outfits, or other Christmas apparel in the stands.  He also expressed his gratitude for the fans so far this season saying, “The fans this year have been awesome, we really love all the support that everyone has shown us this year.” The men play in a tournament at Middlebury College Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 during winter break and then start the month of January on the road against UMass Boston and Babson in a pair of NEHC games.