Saint Joseph's kept pace with the reigning conference champions and held a 2-1 lead when sophomore Andrew Sullivan (Rochester, N.H.) scored off an Andrew Hamill (Wolfeboro, N.H.) feed with 12:25 remaining in the second quarter. The Mustangs struck with goals from J.T. Hoyt (Westfield, Mass.) and Nick Yacuzzi (Worcester, Mass.) during a span of just over two minutes to claim a slim advantage, but Monks' freshman attackman Austin Watts (Westbrook, Maine) netted his 12th goal of the season off a Dalton Eldridge (South Gardiner, Maine) pass to knot the game at three-all heading into intermission.
The third stanza featured only two goals, as Yacuzzi beat St. Joe's senior keeper Christopher Driscoll (Saco, Maine) with a shot 4:31 into the frame and Eldridge slipped a shot past Mount Ida junior netminder Craig Bray (New Canaan, Conn.) with 1:15 remaining in the period to make it a 4-4 game heading into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter featured the same back and forth defensive-minded play for the first five minutes, but Mount Ida dominated play during the closing 10 minutes and, after missing the mark with five shots during a two-minute span, broke the stalemate with a Michael Markevich (Westminster, Mass.) with 8:16 to play.
The goal energized the Mustangs as the visitors went on to net three more markers over the following four minutes of play. Sophomore Michael Trocchi (Danvers, Mass.) scored twice in a matter of 33 seconds and sophomore Chaz Strom (North Grafton, Mass.) tallied the game's final goal off a Yacuzzi dish to provide Mount Ida with an 8-4 cushion with 4:17 remaining.
With the Mustangs surging, the Monks were unable to get anything going as the Royal Blue went without a shot attempt for nearly nine minutes. Trailing by four, Saint Joseph's finally applied some offensive pressure late but failed to find the back of the net as Bray stopped a Watts shot and an Eldridge bid sailed wide.
Driscoll made 14 saves and collected six ground balls for the Monks while Watts added six ground balls and senior defenseman Bert Comins (Newbury, Mass.) tallied four ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers in a losing effort.
Yacuzzi registered two goals, two assists and five ground balls for the Mustangs while junior Zachary Rosen (East Greenwich, R.I.) picked up six ground balls and senior Will Krach (Agawam, Mass.) won nine of 15 face-off attempts in the victory. Bray recorded 11 saves in goal for the visitors.
Saint Joseph's resumes play on Saturday when the Monks host GNAC-rival Norwich University at Deering Memorial Stadium at 4:00 PM. Mount Ida hosts Lasell College on Saturday at 3:00 PM.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 350-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.