Fresh off a series which saw them score a game-tying goal two seconds from elimination, Franklin Pierce scored a game-tying goal 78 seconds from elimination against Long Island. They couldn’t get the winner though so it was all moot. St. Anselm dispatched the rookie Skyhawks in a game in which they never trailed.
#1 Long Island vs. #2 St. Anselm
Saturday, March 4th – 7 PM ET
For the first time in its history NEWHA will send the winner of its championship to the NCAA tournament. Also for the first time, that game will feature the regular season’s top two teams. We’ve seen #1 vs #3 three times and #2 vs. #4 once, but never #1 vs. #2.
This is only the fifth NEWHA tournament and only the third to feature Long Island, who started play in 2019. Despite that, these two teams have met all three of those years with #4 Long Island defeating #2 St. Anselm for the championship in 2020 and #3 St. Anselm beating #2 Long Island in the semifinals last season.
This will also be the first season to feature a repeat champion with Sacred Heart winning in 2018, St. Anselm in 2019, Long Island in 2020, and Franklin Pierce last year.
What makes them tick
For Long Island, it’s possession. The Sharks were far and away the best team in NEWHA in shot differential at 35.4-19.1 (+16.3). The Hawks were second at +8.8.
If the Hawks were a movie title they’d be Everything Everywhere All at Once. They were the only team in the country this season to both score over 100 goals and allow over 100 goals AND take over 1,000 shots and allow over 1,000 shots and one of two to average over 30 shots per game for and against. (Franklin Pierce.)
Not content with that, the Hawks ALSO had the most power play opportunities in the country with 137 and surrendered the third most power play opportunities with 147. St. Anselm hockey: shots, goals, blood.
Long Island – Dictate the game. This is a bit different than controlling possession. They want to play their game and not succumb to the chaotic fury that is St. Anselm.
St. Anselm – Turn it into a track meet. They had their success against the Sharks when the score kept going up, not in defensive battles.
St. Anselm 5-4