Senior Chris Tasiopoulos and the Skyhawks are seeking their first NE-10 Tournament championship game appearance since 2012.
Skyhawks looking to advance to NE-10 Tournament title game for fourth time in program history
EASTON, Mass. (February 19, 2015) – The second-seeded Stonehill College ice hockey team will open the 2015 Northeast-10 Conference Tournament at the Foxboro Sports Center on Saturday at 1:50 p.m. with a semifinal round contest against third-seeded Saint Anselm College, with the winner advancing to the NE-10 Championship game on Saturday, February 28th.
The other semifinal matchup will see top-seeded Saint Michael's College host fourth-seeded Assumption College on Saturday night at Cairns Arena in South Burlington, Vermont.
Ticket prices for Saturday afternoon's contest will be $6 for adults, $4 for children and senior citizens, and $1 for students with a valid NE-10 ID. The Stonehill College office of Student Affairs will be contributing $100 towards admission for students as well. For those unable to attend the game, live stats will be available via www.stonehillskyhawks.com. Stonehill will be sending a fan bus for students that will leave from the Duffy parking lot at 1 p.m. The bus is free and will take students on a first-come, first-served basis until it us full.
Stonehill (14-5-4, 8-0-2 NE-10) capped its regular season last night with an 8-2 victory over Franklin Pierce University on senior night in Foxboro. With the win, the Skyhawks extended their unbeaten streak in regular season NE-10 play to 21 games (19-0-2) since the start of the 2013-14 campaign. Stonehill, which tied Saint Michael's atop the NE-10 standings with eight points and split the regular season conference title with the Purple Knights, ended up as the second seed after the league conducted a tie-breaking coin flip.
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 12-15 in 27 games, including 1-2 in the championship game.
Despite their recent success in conference play, the Skyhawks have struggled over the past four seasons against Saint Anselm, going 1-3-2 in six games against the Hawks since 2011-12. Stonehill's 5-4 victory last February snapped a seven-game winless streak against its conference rival. In their only meeting this season, the two teams played to a 1-1 tie last Tuesday.
Senior netminder and reigning NE-10 Goaltender of the Year Chris Tasiopoulos (Norwell, Massachusetts/Thayer Academy) has again been the key to Stonehill's success this season, as he leads the conference in goals against average (2.23), save percentage (.928), and winning percentage (.763) with a record of 13-3-3. Tasiopoulos added to his own program record with his seventh career shutout in a 5-0 win at SUNY Canton on January 18th, and he made a career-high 48 saves last Tuesday against Saint Anselm.
Junior forward Robbie Dorgan (Ossining, New York/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. Dorgan's 29 total points on nine goals and 20 assists are good for fourth in the conference, and he has earned a pair of NE-10 Player of the Week honors this winter. The 2013-14 All-Conference first team selection recorded a career-best six points in a 9-1 victory over Assumption on February 4th.
Senior forward Kevin Aufiero (Canton, Massachusetts/Walpole Express) has also been a key offensive contributor for the Skyhawks, as he ranks fifth in the NE-10 with 24 points on eight goals and 16 assists, while juniors Richard Harris (Grand Island, New York/Valley Jr. Warriors) and Anthony D'Elia (Stamford, Connecticut/Gunnery School) have chipped in with 22 and 21 points, respectively.
Senior Brendan Greene (Weymouth, Massachusetts/Boston Advantage) led all defenseman in the conference in scoring this season with 15 points on two goals and 13 assists, while junior Travis Army (Englewood, Colorado/Worcester Academy) added nine, good for fifth in the NE-10. Freshman Brendan White (North Reading, Massachusetts/Kimball Union Academy) has emerged as a key member of Stonehill's defensive unit, appearing in 21 games (most among Skyhawk freshmen) and tallying eight points.
Junior Robbie Dorgan led the Skyhawks with 29 points in the regular season.
Stonehill excelled on both the power play and penalty kill during the regular season, topping the NE-10 with a +13 special teams net. The Skyhawks converted on 23.8% (24-for-101) of their chances with a man advantage, good for second in the NE-10, while also ranking second on the penalty kill, successfully killing off 85.4% (76-for-89) of opposing teams' power plays. Stonehill was also one of the most disciplined teams in the conference, logging 244 penalty minutes, the second fewest in the NE-10. In addition, the Skyhawks boast both the highest scoring offense in the league (4.09 goals/game) and the stingiest defense (2.61 goals/game).
Saint Anselm (9-13-3, 2-1-2 NE-10) enters Saturday's contest as the most successful program in the 15-year history of the NE-10 Tournament, as the Hawks have captured eight titles, including four straight from 2010-13.
Senior Sean Jenkins (Boston, Massachusetts/Boston Bulldogs) led Saint Anselm during the regular season with 20 points on seven goals and 13 assists, good for 9th in the NE-10, while classmate Johnny Daniels (Andover, Massachusetts/Valley Jr. Warriors) and junior Bryan Sullivan (Burlington, Massachusetts/The Governor's Academy) tallied 15 points each.
Freshman goaltender Shane Joyce (Pembroke, Massachusetts/PAL Islanders) was solid in his first year between the pipes for the Hawks, ranking third in the NE-10 in both goals against average (2.86) and save percentage (.892) while posting a record of 9-9-3.
Stonehill went 2-0-1 against the NE-10's other two semifinalists, Saint Michael's and Assumption, during the regular season. The Skyhawks won both meetings with the Greyhounds, outscoring them 12-3, and have won ten straight overall against Assumption. Saint Michael's, which upset Stonehill 2-1 in last season's NE-10 semifinal, played the Skyhawks to a 3-3 tie on December 2nd in Foxboro.
2015 NE-10 Tournament Schedule
Saturday, February 21 – Semifinals
#4 Assumption at #1 Saint Michael's
#3 Saint Anselm at #2 Stonehill
Saturday, February 28 – Championship
*Hosted by highest remaining seed