MANCHESTER, N.H. - Second-seeded Saint Anselm College broke open what had been a one-goal game with four goals in the third period to take a 8-4 win over No. 3 Southern New Hampshire University in the semifinals of the Northeast-10 Ice Hockey Championship Wednesday night at Sullivan Arena. The Hawks, who advance to Saturday's championship game, improve to 12-11-3 overall, while the Penmen see their season come to a close at 12-13-1 overall.
Brandon Hammermeister (Calgary, ALB) finished with his third career hat trick in his final collegiate game for the Penmen. The three goals give him 73 goals and 149 points for his career, placing him eighth in career points and tied for ninth in career goals. Andrew Hildreth (Leominster, MA) had a pair of assists for SNHU, while John Frey (Westminster, CO) had the other Penmen goal.
Matt Grazioso had two goals and an assist for Saint Anselm, which also got two goals from Brendan Carroll.
After a first period that saw seven goals scored and the Hawks take a 4-3 lead, neither team scored in the second period. Saint Anselm would make it 5-3 at the 8:14 mark on a power play goal by Pat Forshner that proved to be the eventual game-winner. The Penmen would cut the lead to 5-4 at the 11:51 mark on a power play tally by Hammermeister, his 18th goal of the season, but it took just 11 seconds for the hosts to reclaim a two-goal lead as Carroll scored the first of his two goals to make it 6-4. Carroll would score again at the 13:29 mark and Grazioso closed out the scoring at 13:40.
Saint Anselm took a 1-0 lead 3:00 into the game on an extra-man goal by Coleman Noonan, but the Penmen wasted no time tying the score, with Frey scoring on a feed from Hildreth at the 3:09 mark. Southern New Hampshire took a 2-1 lead at 5:39 on Hammermeister's first goal of the game, with Josh Goodman (Highland Mills, NY) assisting.
Grazioso would tie the game on a power play at the 9:24 mark, but Hammermeister reclaimed the lead for the guests 56 seconds later, with Troy Maybury (South Portland, ME) assisting. It took just 34 seconds for the Hawks to answer, as Paul Snell scored his seventh of the year to make it a 3-3 game. Colin Fitzpatrick gave Saint Anselm a 4-3 lead 1:56 before intermission on his 11th goal of the season.
Pat Gallagher made 29 saves for Saint Anselm, which outshot Southern New Hampshire 35-33 for the game and 16-8 in the third period. Shane Brooks (Kennebunk, ME) played the first 18:04 in goal for the Penmen and surrendered four goals before giving way to Matt Courchesne (Bow, NH), who stopped 19 of the 23 shots he faced and took the loss by going the rest of the way. Saint Anselm was 3-6 on the power play, while the Penmen were just 1-7 with the man advantage.