Senior Captain Travis Army looks to lead the Skyhawks and its 15 seniors to the NE-10 Championship title on Saturday.
Skyhawks making first championship appearance since 2012
EASTON, Mass. (February 26, 2016) – The top-seeded and regular season champion Stonehill College ice hockey program will host second-seeded Saint Anselm College in the Championship game 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 NE-10 Conference at http://northeast10.tv/. The video stream is free of charge with Justin McIsaac and Nick Lantz on the call.
The Skyhawks are seeking their fourth appearance all-time in the NE-10 Championship game, and first since 2012. Stonehill 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 13-16 in 29 games, including 1-2 in the championship game.
Stonehill (13-9-4, 7-1-2 NE-10) clinched its bid to the NE-10 Championship game with an 8-4 win over Assumption College last Saturday in semifinal action. Senior Robbie Dorgan (Ossining, New York/Boston Bulldogs) recorded his 100th point in the victory, registering five points on two goals and three assists. Senior Tom Jenkins (Canton, Massachusetts/Williston Northampton) chipped in with three points on two goals and an assist while classmate Richard Harris (Grand Island, New York/Valley Jr. Warriors) scored a goal and dished out two assists for three points as well.
Stonehill and Saint Anselm have squared off just once this year on January 26th, when the Skyhawks defeated the Hawks 5-2. The victory proved to be crucial as it gave the Skyhawks the top seed in the tournament and home ice advantage throughout. Despite their recent success against Saint Anselm, the Skyhawks have struggled over the past five seasons against them, going 2-4-2 in eight games against the Hawks since 2011-12. Saint Anselm has also knocked Stonehill out of the conference tournament in three out of the last four years.
Senior Robbie Dorgan will be looking to duplicate his five point performance in the semifinal round, tomorrow night against Saint Anselm.
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 finished the regular season ranked 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 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 each chipped in with 17 points apiece during the regular season.
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 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 strongest defense (3.00 goals/game).
Saint Anselm (12-11-3, 4-1-0 NE-10) enters the contest with the stingiest defense in the NE-10, giving up just 2.46 goals-a-game. The Hawks also come in with the best penalty kill in the conference, killing off 78 out of 88 power plays, good for 84.1%.
The Hawks boast the NE-10 goaltender of the year in sophomore Shane Joyce (Pembroke, Massachusetts/PAL Islanders) and three other all-NE-10 first team members in senior forward Mark Meads (Middleton, Massachusetts/Bentley University), classmate Bryan Sullivan (Burlington, Massachusetts/The Governor's Academy) and junior defenseman Peter Sikalis (Acton, Massachusetts/Cushing Academy).
Meads and Sullivan form a dangerous tandem on the attack with both finishing in the top five in the conference in points. Meads ranks third in the conference with 25 points on 14 goals and 11 assists while Sullivan is tied for fifth with 23 points on five goals and 18 assists. Sikalis led all defenseman in scoring during the 2015-16 season, registering 17 points on six goals and 11 assists.