HOOKSETT, N.H. -- Five different players scored in the game, as the Saint Anselm College men's hockey team posted a 5-2 victory over Plymouth State University Sunday in the championship game of the PAL "Stovepipe" Tournament at Tri-town Arena.
Saint Anselm, which has now claimed three of the last four tournament titles, remained unbeaten on the year and improved to 3-0-1. PSU, which was making its first appearance in the championship game, dropped to 2-3-1.
Saint Anselm opened the scoring midway through the first period when sophomore Brett Smith (Hudson, Mass.) one-timed a pass from freshman Chris O'Brien (Watertown, Mass.) past PSU netminder Trevor Cherry (Greenland, N.H.) from in close. The Panthers evened the game at 1-1 with 4:19 left in the first period following a shorthanded goal by freshman Chris Cadieux (Nashua, N.H.). Junior Matt Withers (Laconia, N.H.) set up the scoring chance, as his lead past sent Cadieux in alone on Saint Anselm goaltender Jim Merola (North Providence, R.I.).
The Hawks took control in the second period, as they outshot the Panthers 13-4 during the frame and opened up a 4-1 lead. Sophomore Josh Hechter (Winnepeg, Manitoba) gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead just 3:27 into the period when he banged home a centering pass from senior John Cronin (Milton, MA). Senior Brian Keeley (Woburn, Mass.) scored at 8:42 and freshman Shane Masotta (Woburn, Mass.) slapped home a shot from the point with 4:46 left in the period to give the Hawks a 4-1 lead.
Saint Anselm took a four-goal advantage when junior Rob Curran (Holbrook, N.). scored off a pass from Masotta, and the Panthers closed out the scoring when Withers scored off a centering pass from freshman Topo Lacroix (Moretown, Vt.) with 12:02 to play. The Panthers had a chance to cut into the lead later in the period, but could not convert during a 5-on-3 powerplay.
The Hawks finished with a 36-17 edge in shots for the game. Merola stopped 15 shots form the Hawks. Cherry made 24 saves for PSU, before giving way to junior Kyle VanDingstee (Skaneateles, NY) late in the third period.
Saint Anselm senior captain Bostjan Kolaric (Ljubljana, Slovania) was named the tournament MVP. All-tournament selections went to Hechter, Cronin and senior defenseman Dave Cannon (East Greenwich, RI) of Saint Anselm, SNHU junior defenseman Justin Hurley (Peabody, MA) and freshman goaltender Karl Helgesson (Lerum, Sweden) of PSU.
PSU returns to action Tuesday (11/30) when it travels to the University of Southern Maine for a non-league game. Saint Anselm is idle until Friday (12/3) when it travels to Tufts University for a ECAC East game.
(Courtesy of SNHU Sports Information)
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