NE10 Champions: men’s hockey back on top after 6-5 comeback victory

NE10 Champions: men’s hockey back on top after 6-5 comeback victory

Devin Bergeron, Crier Staff

Saint Anselm has officially reclaimed the throne in the NE10. Three years after their last championship win, the men’s hockey team is champions again and has their tenth NE10 Tournament championship since 1999.

Their season, which had been shaky for much of the year, all culminated on Saturday March, 03 when they faced off against Saint Michael’s. The game was an instant classic and had as much high-stakes drama as a sports fan could lust for. Watching as their championship aspirations crumbled before them, the Hawks entered the third period trailing 5-2. But they would not go quietly into the night. They managed to rally and tie the game with seven minutes left on the clock, to force overtime. At the 12:13 mark, junior forward Jeremy Carignan slapped a wrist shot past Saint Michael’s goaltender, to complete the epic comeback and bring another banner back to the hilltop. Goal scorers for the Hawks were sophomore defenseman Liam O’Sullivan, junior defenseman Kevin Curley, senior defenseman Nick Gorski, senior forward Justin Longo, sophomore forward Mike Ferraro, and Carignan. Senior goalie Brendan Cain came in for relief late in the second period and saved all of the 17 shots he faced to earn himself game MVP honors.

The Hawks entered their 2016-17 campaign with lofty goals. After the hiring of highly esteemed head coach Jim Tortorella, they were the early favorites to the win the title. They officially nabbed the top spot in the 2017-18 NE10 Ice Hockey Preseason Coaches’ Poll. With a talented incoming freshmen class everything was trending upwards for the Hawks. However the first half of the season was wobbly at best. They failed to garner any winning momentum for an extended period, and by early January, sat at a disappointing 5-7-1. But just when it seemed like this squad lacked the aptitude to make a run, they completely flipped the script. They closed out the regular season 10-2 and carried a six-game win streak into the playoffs. After downing crosstown rival SNHU in the semis, their 6-5 victory in the finals, cemented a truly unforgettable championship season.

The 2017-18 roster for Saint A’s featured one of the most talented groups the hilltop has ever seen. Three of the seven spots on the 2018 NE10 All-Championship Team belong to the Hawks. Cain, Gorski, and senior forward Jon Pallota all made the list for Saint A’s. Ferraro led the team in goals and points for the season with 17 and 28 respectively. Freshmen forward Alec Andreucci finished close behind with 27 points and his team-leading 18 assists. Despite only starting two games, Cain managed to post an impressive .935 save percentage and went 3-0 in net to show for it. Junior goalie Colin Soucy was the saves leader with 364.

Overall the Hawks finished 17-9-1, went 11-4 in their conference, and defended their home ice to the tune of a 10-4 record. With a proven head coach, talented young core, and only five seniors graduating this spring, Saint A’s can hopefully look forward to more of the same in their 2018-19 campaign.