When and Where: March 2, 2019 – Goffstown, N.H. (Sullivan Arena)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 4, Saint Anselm College 3
Records: SNHU 14-9-4, Saint Anselm 16-13-2
Freshman Joe Fiorino (Willow Grove, Pa.) scored twice, including the eventual game winner in the second period, and junior goaltender Kurt Gutting (Weymouth, Mass.) made 37 saves, as the second-seeded Southern New Hampshire University men's ice hockey team captured its second Northeast-10 Championship with a 4-3 win against top-seeded Saint Anselm College on Saturday at Sullivan Arena.
- Fiorino's goals were his fourth and fifth of the season.
- Seniors Artem Efimov-Barakov (Khimki, Russia) and Chris Moquin (Hooksett, N.H.) also found the back of the net for the Penmen.
- Gutting, who stopped all 11 shots in the opening period, posted his fourth highest save total of the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Southern New Hampshire struck first just 1:04 into the contest, with Efimov-Barakov skating to the top of the left circle and wristing a shot over the shoulder over Saint Anselm netminder Colin Soucy to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
- The Penmen went up 2-0 nearly four minutes later, creating a 2-on-1 by executing a perfect give-and-go, with freshman Andy Somerville (Medford, Mass.) slipping a pretty pass from the left circle into the slot, where Fiorino finished it off.
- SNHU made it 3-0 with just over three minutes remaining in the first. Senior Brett Strawn (Wareham, Mass.) won the faceoff at the left circle, kept control of the puck and slipped a quick pass in front, where Moquin tapped it past an outstretched Soucy and inside the far post.
- Saint Anselm made it onto the board 3:00 into the second period, with Gutting making the initial stop on a Kevin Curley drive from the right point, but Sean Verrier poked home the rebound opportunity on the doorstep to make it a two-goal game.
- The Hawks pulled within one on the power play just past the midway point of the stanza, with Verrier again cleaning up a loose puck in front.
- The Penmen regained their two-goal lead just under two minutes later when Fiorino held the puck above the right circle and ripped a shot through traffic that found the back of the net.
- The scoring was not finished in the middle period, however, as Saint Anselm took advantage of a 3-on-1 rush, with Trey Aiello knocking in the rebound off an initial shot by Liam O'Sullivan that cut the SNHU lead to 4-3.
- The third period was the exact opposite of the second, with neither team finding the scoreboard. Saint Anselm pulled Soucy with 34 seconds left in favor of the extra attacker, but did not seriously threaten.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Soucy stopped 16 shots for Saint Anselm.
- SNHU was outshot 40-16 in the contest by Saint Anselm, including 22-4 in the second period.
- The Penmen went 0-for-1 on the power play, while the Hawks went 1-for-2.
- Southern New Hampshire captures its first NE10 Championship since 2014, when it defeated Saint Michael's College, 4-1, at home.
- After falling to Saint Anselm in each of the previous two NE10 semifnals, the Penmen knock off their crosstown rivals for the second time in 12 NE10 postseason meetings.
- This was the fifth time the two teams met in the title game.
- Gutting was named the Northeast-10 Championship Most Outstanding Player and was joined on the All-Championship Team by Fiorino and Efimov-Barakov.
- The 14 victories are the most for the program since it won 17 games in 2013-14.
- The win earned SNHU two points in the Queen City Cup standings and they now lead, 15-13, in the battle for Manchester supremacy.
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