MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team was within one goal of nationally-regarded Babson College until early in the third period before losing a 6-2 decision on Saturday during the Middlebury College Holiday Classic championship game in Kenyon Arena. The Beavers received votes toward the latest U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) Division III national poll.
- Saint Michael's (7-4-1), Babson (9-3-1)
SAINT MICHAEL'S LEADERS
- Junior Noah Muller (Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Düsseldorfer EG), 2 assists
- Junior Paul McAuliffe (Newton, Mass./Kimball Union Academy), 1 goal
- First-year Jeremy Routh (Hamden, Conn./New Hampshire Junior Monarchs), 1 goal
- Junior Thomas Flack (Toronto, Ontario/Saint Michael's Buzzers), 1 assist, 14-for-26 faceoffs
- Senior Tim Decker (Liverpool, Conn./Canterbury School), 27 saves
- Sophomore Matt Wiesner, 2 goals, 1 assist
- First-year Andrew Holland, 2 goals
- Junior Patrick Flynn, 2 assists
- Sophomore Cam Schmitt, 2 assists
- Sophomore Ryan Black, 1 goal
- Sophomore Zach Richterman, 1 goal
- Sophomore Aidan Murphy, 23 saves
- Decker and Muller were both named to the all-tournament team.
- Babson was receiving votes toward the U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) Division III national poll after Saint Michael's played Middlebury, which was also receiving national votes, on Friday.
- The Beavers, who scored exactly six goals for the fourth straight game, extended their unbeaten streak to eight games (7-0-1) after entering the day tied for the longest active undefeated run in Division III. Saint Michael's scored twice against the fourth-best scoring defense in Division III (1.58) while netting a pair of power-play goals against a penalty-kill unit that was third in Division III (94.1%) and had yielded only two power-play goals in its last 14 games dating back to 2018-19.
- The Purple Knights were seeking their first in-season tournament championship since 2012-13, when they won their own DoubleTree Ice Hockey Classic, and were looking to win another school's tournament for the first time since taking the State University of New York at Potsdam's Pepsi Invitational in 1998-99.
- Former conference counterparts, Saint Michael's and Babson met for the first time since the Purple and Gold left the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) following the 2016-17 season.
- This was the third time the Purple Knights have competed in the Middlebury Holiday Classic and their first time advancing to the championship game.
- Despite holding a 16-4 advantage in shots during the first period, Babson netted only one goal, when Wiesner's redirection from the slot off of senior Connor Dahlman's pass found the net at 18:01.
- Routh found the equalizer with 4:17 gone in the second, picking the upper right corner from the left circle during a power play.
- Babson retook the lead for good just 1:39 later, as Flynn intercepted a failed clear up the right boards and sent a puck out front, where a crashing Wiesner put home a tip-in.
- Holland scored the first of three straight power-play goals between the team by tipping in Schmitt's pass from down low at 14:34.
- McAuliffe drew Saint Michael's within 3-2 1:37 into the third period on the man advantage. After Muller slipped a crossing pass toward the right side of the crease, Flack's tip-in try was denied by Murphy, but McAuliffe batted the loose puck into a vacated net.
- Babson put the game away with three goals in an ensuing 10:35 stretch, beginning when Holland tipped in Schmitt's pass out front during a power play at 6:33.
- Richterman added to the lead by scoring from the right circle at 11:34, and Black finished a give-and-go with sophomore Mike Egan at the left post at 17:08.
NEXT SAINT MICHAEL'S GAME
- Tuesday vs. Post University, 7 p.m.