HENNIKER, N.H.—Sophomore Nikita Pintusov (Mogilev, Belarus) scored two of his game-high three goals late in the third period to help New England College edge visiting Babson College, 5-3, in New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) men's ice hockey action on Saturday afternoon at Lee Clement Arena.
Babson, which had won its previous two games, falls to 2-2-0 overall and 1-1-0 in conference play, while New England College improves to 4-2-0 overall and 3-1-0 in the NEHC with its third consecutive victory.
Sophomore Mike Egan (Billerica, Mass.) scored twice, classmate Jack Nisbet (Scituate, Mass.) recorded his first goal of the year, and fellow sophomore Ryan Black (Pomfret, Conn.) picked up two assists for the Beavers. Juniors Cooper Norton (Williston, Vt.) and Nick Rosa (Birmingham, Mich.) and sophomore Cole Sanderson (Basking Ridge, N.J.) all finished with one assist in front of first-year goaltender Nolan Hildebrand (Penticton, British Columbia), who made 28 saves in his collegiate debut.
Senior Ryan Walsh (Hanover, Mass.) had two goals ,classmate Carlos Fornaris (Miami, Fla.) led all players with three assists, and fellow senior Daniel Bergqvist (Sundsvall, Sweded) contributed a pair of assists for the Pilgrims. Senior Anthony Pupplo (Shirley, N.Y.) made 34 saves between the pipes to earn his fourth win of the season.
New England College jumped in front with a power play goal following a scoreless first period on the first of Walsh's two tallies 4:04 into the second. Nisbet tied the game at the 11:36 mark and Egan put the Green and White in front 2-1 with his first of the game at 16:21. The lead was short-lived however, as Pintusov scored 50 seconds later following a Babson roughing penalty to make it 2-2.
Walsh put the Pilgrims back in front 3-2 with his second goal at 2:16 of the third, only to see Egan tie it up with a power play tally at the 9:38 mark. Pintusov scored the go-ahead goal at 16:16 though, and Pupplo made back-to-back saves for New England College on Egan and Black in the final minute before Pintusov sealed the win with an empty net goal with 29 seconds to play.
The Beavers finished with a slim 37-33 edge in shots, while the Pilgrims went 2-for-2 on the power play in the win.
Both teams are back in action next Friday at 7 p.m. as Babson travels to Norwich, while New England College visits Johnson & Wales.
• The Beavers are 41-22-8 all-time against New England College.
• Egan (2-3-5) and Black (1-4-5) combined for nine points in games against NEC and Southern Maine over the weekend.