Senior captain Travis Army looks to lead the Skyhawks to the NE-10 Championship game for the fourth time in program history.
Regular season champion Skyhawks seek first NE-10 Championship berth since 2012
EASTON, Mass. (February 18, 2016) – Top-seeded and regular season champion Stonehill College ice hockey program will host fourth-seeded Assumption College in semifinal round action of the 2016 Northeast-10 Conference Tournament at the Foxboro Sports Center on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for Saturday night's contest will be $6 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and children, and $1 for students with a valid ID from a Northeast-10 school. Stonehill students will be admitted free of charge, courtesy of the Office of Student Affairs and Department of Athletics, and the Spirit Committee will be sponsoring a fan bus which will depart from the parking lot behind Duffy at 6:45 p.m., and return following the game. Space is limited and students can sign up in advance at the Info Desk in Roche Commons through Saturday afternoon.
Fans can also follow the game online with live stats via stonehillskyhawks.com as well as a live video stream, hosted by the Foxboro Sports Center at livebarn.com. There is a $12.95 per month charge for the service, which is offering a free 14-day trail that allows you to cancel your subscription before incurring any charge if done before the end of the trial period. Once logged into the website, just search the available rinks for Foxboro Sports Center Rink #2 on Saturday night to view the game.
The winner of Saturday night's game will advance to the NE-10 Championship next Saturday, February 27, to face the winner of Saturday's other semifinal between second-seeded Saint Anselm College (11-11-3, 4-1-0 NE-10) and third-seeded Southern New Hampshire University (8-13-4, 4-3-4 NE-10) being played at the Sullivan Ice Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, at 4 p.m.
Stonehill (12-9-4, 7-1-2 NE-10) clinched its third straight NE-10 regular season championship in Saturday night despite a 1-0 setback at Southern New Hampshire. The loss snapped a 30 game unbeaten streak (26-0-4) for the Skyhawks in NE-10 regular season play which spanned three seasons dating back to the 2013-14 season. With the loss the Skyhawks record stands at 26-1-4 in NE-10 play over head coach David Borges' three seasons at the helm.
Stonehill and Assumption have squared off three times this year and three times the Skyhawks have walked away with a victory. The two NE-10 rivals opened conference play on November 5th, with Stonehill earning a 7-4 victory at the Foxboro Sports Center. They played again January 23rd at Assumption where the Skyhawks skated their way to a 5-2 win, before closing out the regular season back at the Foxboro Sports Center when Stonehill used three first period goals to win 6-1.
Stonehill is seeking its fourth appearance in the NE-10 Championship game all time, and first since 2012. The Skyhawks have also made it to the NE-10 title contest in 2009, and won its only conference tournament championship in 2007. Since the inception of the NE-10 Tournament in the 1999-00 season, Stonehill is 12-16 in 28 games, including 1-2 in the championship game.
Senior forward Garrett White (Wakefield, Massachusetts/Boston Bulldogs) has led a balanced Stonehill offense, as he is one of five Skyhawks that rank in the top-11 in the NE-10 in scoring. White's 21 total points on nine goals and 12 assists are good for seventh in the conference.
Senior forward Thomas DePoalo (Mendham, New Jersey/Morristown Beard School) has also been a key offensive contributor for the Skyhawks, as he ranks eighth in the NE-10 with 19 points on ten goals and nine assists, while also ranking in the top five in goals. Classmate Richard Harris (Grand Island, New York/Valley Jr. Warriors) finished tied for eighth with Depoalo in the final standings at 19 points, scoring seven goals and dishing out 12 assists. Junior Brian Higgins (Milton, Massachusetts/Proctor Academy) and senior Robbie Dorgan (Ossining, New York/Boston Bulldogs) have each chipped in with 17 points apiece.
Sophomore Brendan White (North Reading, Massachusetts/Kimball Union Academy) finished in the top six of all defenseman in the conference in scoring this season with 10 points on three goals and seven assists, while senior captain Travis Army (Englewood, Colorado/Worcester Academy) added seven, good for 16th in the NE-10.
Freshman William Palmer will look to build on his NE-10 leading winning percentage on Saturday night.
Freshman netminder William Palmer (Cranston, Rhode Island/Boston Bandits) has been one of the keys to Stonehill's success this season, as he ranks near or at the top of every major statistical category for goaltenders in the NE-10. He is second in goals against average (GAA) at 2.74, second in save percentage (.922) and first in winning percentage. The freshman has compiled at least 30 saves in nine separate games this season and 40 saves or more in four contests. Palmer's career-high in saves is 50 which he set against Assumption College (1/23/16) in a 5-2 triumph.
Stonehill excelled on the penalty kill during the regular season, finishing second in the NE-10, successfully killing off 82.4% (89-for-108) of opposing teams' power plays. In addition, the Skyhawks have the second highest scoring offense in the league (3.12 goals/game) and the second stingiest defense (3.00 goals/game).
Assumption (9-11-4, 2-6-1 NE-10) enters the contest with the most explosive offense in the NE-10. The greyhounds are averaging 3.50 goals a game and have scored four or more goals on 14 separate occasions.
The Greyhounds boast the top two scorers in the league in Brandon Bete (Greenfield, Massachusetts/Northfield Mount Hermon) and Ryan Gomez (Wayne, New Jersey/Wayne Valley), as well as two of the top five scoring defensemen in Kevin Murphy (North Conway, New Hampshire /Kennett) and Matt Cowles (Farmington, Connecticut/Avon Old Farms).
Bete, a NE-10 Player of the Year candidate, finished tops in the league in points (34) and goals (23). The senior finished with 23 goals and 11 assists, while Gomez ranked second with 26 points on eight goals and 18 assists, forming the most dangerous one-two combination in the league. Murphy ended the regular season as the top goal-scoring defenseman with 11 goals and ranked second in points with 15 on 11 goals and four assists. Cowles finished fourth in defensemen scoring with 12 points on one goal and 11 assists.
2016 Northeast-10 Conference
Ice Hockey Tournament
Saturday, February 20 – Semifinals
#4 Assumption (9-11-4, 2-6-1 NE-10) at #1 Stonehill (12-9-4. 7-1-2 NE-10), 7:30 p.m.
#3 Southern New Hampshire (8-13-4, 4-3-4 NE-10) at #2 Saint Anselm (11-11-3, 4-1-0 NE-10), 4 p.m.
Saturday, February 27 – Championship
*Hosted by highest remaining seed (Time TBA)