Men's Ice Hockey

1984 NCAA National Champions | 16 NCAA Tournaments | 6 Conference Championships

Game Preview: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Saint Michael's

Game Preview: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Saint Michael's

Men's Ice Hockey vs. Saint Michael's
Saturday, February 4—4 p.m.
Babson Skating Center—Babson Park, Mass.

Babson and Saint Michael's will meet for the 26th time on Saturday afternoon in a series that dates back to 1998. The Beavers are 21-3-1 all-time, but had their 18-game unbeaten streak in the series snapped the Purple Knights back in December.
Senior Danny Divis scored twice and junior Eric Salzillo had two assists to help Saint Michael's defeat Babson, 4-2, on December 2 in South Burlington, Vt. Senior Anthony Maiuri and sophomore Sam D'Antuono also scored for the Purple Knights, who got 29 saves from classmate Chris Johnson. Junior Charlie Ackerman and sophomore Tommy Munichiello each had a goal for the Beavers.

Senior Tim Searles scored twice and junior Matt McMorrow added a goal and an assist as Babson defeated Saint Michael's, 5-1, on February 6, 2016, in South Burlington. Ackerman and junior Bobby Hall both contributed two assists for the Beavers, who led 3-0 after the first period.

Saint Michael's (8-13-2, 4-11-1 NEHC) has dropped five of its last six games after suffering a 4-2 loss at UMass Boston on Friday night. Senior Pat Houghton and sophomore Jack Ouellette both scored for the Purple Knights, who fell behind for good with less than eight minutes to go in the third period. Salzillo (9-14-23) has scored six times on the power play, D'Antuono (8-14-22) leads the team with two game-winning goals and Divis (4-14-18) is the third highest scoring defenseman in the NEHC. Johnson, who made 41 saves against the Beacons on Friday, owns a 3.56 goals against average and a .906 save percentage in 21 starts.

Babson (12-7-3, 9-4-2 NEHC) is now unbeaten in six consecutive games after finishing in a 2-2 overtime time against No. 1/1 Norwich on Friday night. Senior Dan Casey scored a pair of goals and sophomore goaltender Bryan Botcher made a career-high 45 saves for the Beavers, who halted the Cadets' six-game winning streak. Munichiello (8-11-19) has three game-winning goals and has scored four times on the power play, junior Rob Devaney (6-11-17) has contributed three power play tallies and senior Michael Phillips (5-11-16) is tied for the team lead in assists. Botcher (7-2-2) and fellow sophomore Matt Pompa (5-5-1) have combined to post a 1.98 goals against average and a .934 save percentage this winter.

Saturday's contest against Saint Michael's marks the final regular season home game for Casey, Phillips, Searles and fellow seniors Gene Lane, Bill Seligman and Patrick Young. The Beavers' six seniors helped the program capture the 2014 ECAC East regular season and tournament championships, and have made three consecutive conference final appearances while recording an overall record of 72-24-11.

Babson enters its final regular season home game tied for second place in the NEHC standings with 20 points alongside New England College. The Beavers and Pilgrims are three points ahead of fourth-place Castleton and four points ahead of both Skidmore and UMass Boston, who are currently tied for fifth place. The second through fourth seeds will host conference quarterfinal contests on February 25.

The Beavers, who average the second fewest penalty minutes in Division III (8.00), have successfully killed off 27 of their last 28 penalties over the last 11 games. Overall, the Green and White enters the day ranked seventh in the country on the penalty kill with a 88.3 percent success rate.

Casey's shorthanded goal late in the second period on Friday night was Babson's first of the season and its first in 43 games going back to a shorthanded tally by Devaney against Nazareth on November 28, 2015.

The Beavers are 12-3-4 in the month of February since 2014.