Skyhawks seek to build on playoff success and earn sixth straight semifinal appearance
EASTON, Mass. (February 25, 2011) – Fifth-seeded Stonehill College will begin postseason play on Saturday afternoon, when the Skyhawks take on fourth seed Assumption College in the first round of the Northeast-10 Conference Ice Hockey Championship at Buffone Rink at 4:35 p.m.
Stonehill (5-17-1, 3-6-1 NE-10) posted a 1-2 record against Assumption (10-14-1, 5-6 NE-10) during the regular season, and the Skyhawks aim to even the season series tomorrow and extend their recent history of playoff success, having advanced to the semifinals or title game in each of the last five seasons. The teams’ last postseason meeting was in the 2007 semifinal round, when Stonehill defeated the Greyhounds on the way to the program’s first-ever NE-10 title.
The Skyhawks are led on the first line by senior Angelo Todesca (Westwood, Mass./Catholic Memorial), the team’s top scorer with 12 goals and 12 assists, and junior Patrick Greene (Weymouth, Mass./Catholic Memorial), with five goals and a team-high 16 assists, both ranking in the top 15 among NE-10 scoring leaders. Also making an offensive impact in their rookie seasons are NE-10 All-Rookie honoree Bryan Rooney (Canton, Mass./Canton), who comes into Saturday’s matchup on a four-game point streak, and Bill Carey (Weymouth, Mass./Catholic Memorial), currently tied for the lead in scoring among NE-10 freshmen with seven goals and 16 total points.
Sophomore Dana Borges (Taunton, Mass./Coyle Cassidy) has been a reliable offensive threat for the Skyhawks with 12 points, and classmate Christopher Gorovitz (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) also registered double figures in points during the regular season with 10. Stonehill has also seen increased success on special teams shifts over the course of the season, and currently ranks second in the NE-10 in power-play percentage at 20.2% and third on the penalty kill at 76.4% effectiveness.
The Stonehill defense, ranked third in the conference at 4.22 goals allowed per game, is anchored by senior captains Eric Scholl (Wilmington, Mass./Tilton School) and John Yokow (Windsor, Conn./Northwest Catholic). Junior Matt Doherty (Milton, Mass./Thayer Academy), who has tallied seven points from the back line this season, and sophomore J.J. Sabin (Milton, Mass./Milton), with eight, have also stepped up as defensive playmakers and rank among the conference’s top 15 in defenseman scoring.
They will be tasked with closing down the potent Assumption offense in front of goaltending tandem Derek Chapdelaine (Granby, Mass./Springfield Cathedral) and Kevin Diamond (Lakeville, Conn./Housatonic Valley Regional). Chapdelaine, who has seen the majority of minutes in net during the final month of the regular season, enters tomorrow’s matchup with a 4.75 goals against average and .863 save percentage and seeks to regain his sharper form of earlier in the season. Diamond earned his first career victory this month in relief during a 6-5 comeback win over Southern New Hampshire University.
Senior Angelo Todesca and head coach Garry Hebert comment on the upcoming tournament.
Assumption comes in following a 1-0-1 effort at home during the final week of the regular season, snapping a three-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over Southern New Hampshire on Saturday and salvaging a 1-1 tie in overtime against non-conference Salve Regina University at home on Wednesday. The Greyhounds are led by conference Player of the Year Taylor Larsen (Blackstone, Mass.), who leads the NE-10 in scoring with 16 goals and 20 assists for 36 points, and Defender of the Year Kevin Glanzman (Massapequa, N.Y.), who holds the NE-10’s top spot in defenseman scoring with 27 points on the season. Junior Pat O’Kane (Hollis, N.H.) also ranks in the conference top ten with 24 points.
Junior Nick Blanchette (Stuart, Fla.) will likely get the start in goal for Assumption, coming in with a 4.11 goals against average to rank fifth in the conference. The Greyhounds rank just behind Stonehill in scoring defense with 4.32 goals allowed per game, but stand fifth in both special teams categories with an 18% conversion rate on the power play and 72.4% efficiency on the penalty kill.
Admission to Saturday’s game will be $5 for adults, $3 for children and seniors, and $1 for students. The winner will advance to face either regular-season champion Saint Michael’s College (10-14-1, 5-0 NE-10) or second seed and defending tournament champion Saint Anselm College (11-11-2, 3-1 NE-10) on Wednesday, March 2 at 7:00 p.m.