PORTSMOUTH, R.I. – The Salve Regina University men’s ice hockey team defeated Skidmore College 8-4 in a non-conference matchup Friday at the Portsmouth Abbey.
It is the first time Salve Regina has defeated Skidmore, going 0-6 against the Thoroughbreds previously in a series that began in 2002. The Seahawks led 7-1 before the Thoroughbreds began to mount a comeback late in the second period. The lead was just too big to overcome though and the Seahawks cruised their way to a second straight victory.
The Seahawks controlled the tempo early, outshooting the Thoroughbreds 13-0 in the first period. Salve Regina had great scoring chances early but Skidmore netminder Jack McDonald (King City, Ontario) stood on his head, making more than one incredible diving save to keep Salve Regina off the board.
The Seahawks were most effective when they turned defense quickly into offense. Routinely the Seahawks were able to get the puck out quickly on dump-ins by having defensemen carry the puck with speed through the neutral zone, creating quick scoring chances.
The Seahawks scored their first goal in this fashion with defensemen Alex Pompeo (Hingham, Mass.) threading a perfect pass to John Scorcia (Hudson, Fla.) on the break, giving him a one-on-one with the goaltender. Scorcia deked and got McDonald to drop his stance then top-shelved a shot for the first goal of the game.
The Seahawks hard work paid off again when Evan Schultz (Durham, N.H.) battled along the boards with three defenders to keep a puck alive and center it perfectly to Marc Biggs (Plano, Texas) alone in front of the net.
The Seahawks did not let up in the second period, they continued to play smothering defense and capitalize on scoring chances. The Seahawks third goal came shorthanded. Biggs disrupted a pass at the blue line and was able to nudge it forward to Lucas Sousa (Billerica, Mass.) who raced up the left side and wristed a shot on McDonald. McDonald made the initial save but gave up a rebound and Pat Thompson (Hellertown, Pa.) who hustled to join the play was uncontested for a tip in score.
Thompson scored again three minutes later on a feed from Schultz, then Schultz himself scored at 8:48 of the second on the power play for a 5-0 Salve Regina lead.
Michael Naso (Londonderry, N.H.) was called for tripping at 9:39 of the second giving the Thoroughbreds a power play. They capitalized quickly scoring at 10:40. David Limoges (Saint-Hippoyle, Quebec) circled behind the Salve Regina net then looped in front, wristing a laser high on the glove side past Seahawks goaltender David Chiokadze (Langhorne, Pa.) who was being screened on the play.
The Seahawks did not slow down however, answering quickly. On the break Peter Gintoli (Monroe, Conn.) blasted a shot from just inside the blue line while getting hammered to the boards. The puck tipped off the goalies stick and found its way to the back of the net.
The offensive output continued thanks to great execution. When Salve Regina wasn’t scoring on the break, they were sustaining long possessions in the offensive zone and wearing down the Skidmore defenders. Marc Biggs scored his second of the day thanks to great puck movement and another excellent setup from Evan Schultz.
With a 7-1 lead it seemed like the Seahawks had the game well in hand before the second period was even over. However a late push from Skidmore gave the Thoroughbreds some momentum and confidence. With just 38 second to play in the second Shaun Altshuller (Nepean, Ontario) was called for hooking. Altshuller had barely sat down in the box before Marc Cibelli (Liverpool, N.Y.) scored right off the draw to make it 7-2. Cibelli scored again with eight seconds left to make it 7-3 giving the Thoroughbreds momentum heading into the break.
The third period was back and forth for the first half with neither team generating a ton of scoring chances and a lot of penalties. Skidmore broke through again when Ondrej Krajnak (Presov, Slovakia) scored on a breakaway chance making it 7-4 at 9:53.
Alex Pompeo scored on a breakaway of his own however at 13:34 brining the lead back to four goals and stealing the momentum away from the Thoroughbreds.
With the win Salve Regina improves to 5-4-2 overall and remains 3-2 in the ECAC Northeast.
Skidmore falls to 2-9-1 overall and has lost three straight.
Salve Regina will host Castleton on January 3 at 7 p.m. while Skidmore travels to Dudley, Mass. to face Nichols at 4:30 p.m.