PORTLAND, ME – Emmanuel College (11-3, 9-0 GNAC) preserved its perfect Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) record with an 8-3 victory over Saint Joseph's College (5-7, 4-5 GNAC) at Deering Memorial Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Monks, strong defensively all season, held one of the top offensive teams in the conference to just two goals in the first two quarters, as the hosts trailed by a slim 2-1 margin heading into intermission. As it played out, a relatively high-scoring third quarter – which featured six of the contest's 11 total markers, including four by Emmanuel – proved to be the difference.
The Saints doubled their first-half scoring output in the opening four minutes of the third quarter, receiving goals from sophomore Kalie MacLean-Daley (Moretown, Vt.) and freshman Tony Cibelli (Westboro, Mass.) to claim a 4-1 cushion with 11:10 remaining in the third period.
Senior Jake Ricciardi (Sharon, Mass.) netted his second goal of the game off a Brad Loomis (Saunderstown, R.I.) pass to make it a 4-2 contest with 5:51 left in the third frame. Emmanuel junior Ryan Sabuda (Indianapolis, Ind.) and SJC junior Andrew Sullivan (Rochester, Mass.) swapped scored in a matter of 48 seconds as the two-goal proposition stood with 4:12 to play in the third.
The Saints, who outshot the Monks by a 38-21 tally on the evening, managed to put the game away with a pair of goals from sophomore Michael Rogers (New Haven, Conn.), who scored off a Donnie Litzelman (Exeter, N.H.) feed 1:39 into the fourth frame and potted a man-up marker off a Chris Curtis (Ashland, Mass.) dish with 8:16 to play, accounting for the 8-3 final.
For Saint Joseph's, junior goalie Ethan Rettew (Ephrata, Pa.) made 16 saves in an impressive effort between the posts while Ricciardi tallied two goals and an assist and Loomis dealt a pair of dimes in the losing bid.
For Emmanuel, junior keeper Austin Lauzier (Bedford, N.H.) was forced to make just three saves while Rogers scored three goals and Curtis added two goals and a helper. Sabuda and Cibelli tallied a goal and an assist apiece, sophomore Pat Heffernan (Pembroke, Mass.) corralled nine ground balls and four caused turnovers – both game-high totals – and junior Jake Pickett (Stratham, N.H.) won 10 of 13 face-off attempts in the victory.
With the loss, Saint Joseph's falls to 2-2 in the history of the series with Emmanuel College, a team that defeated the Monks, 9-8, in the first round of the 2013 GNAC Tournament.
Both teams conclude the 2014 regular season by facing conference opponents this Saturday, when the Monks host Albertus Magnus College (3-9, 2-7 GNAC) in a 1:30 PM start at Deering and the Saints travel to Lasell College (10-4, 9-0 GNAC) for a 12:00 PM kick-off.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 430-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.