(Courtesy of Saint Michael’s Sports Information)
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. — Junior Josh Geary (Wellesley, Mass.) scored with 5:31 to play in the second period to snap a tie game and classmate Mike Dizgun (Kirkland, Quebec) kicked out 33 shots as the Saint Michael’s College Purple Knights defeated the University of Southern Maine Huskies, 3-2, in an ECAC Men’s East game Saturday afternoon at Cairns Arena.
The win was the second straight for the Purple Knights and improved their record to 5-10-2 overall and 3-8-1 in the league. The Purple Knights swept the season series having beaten the Huskies at USM back in November. The Huskies dropped their third straight game, and fourth in the last five, to slide to 6-9-14 overall and 4-6-2 in league play.
Freshman Mark Higgins (Plainville, Mass.) tallied one goal and one assist, while senior Brady Earle (Columbia, Md.) also found the back of the net. Freshman A.J. Pieprzak (Barrie, Ontario) added two helpers.
Freshman Sam Guimond (Portland, Maine) and junior David Nies (Brookline, Mass.) found the back of the net for the Huskies. Sophomore Braely Torris (Eckville, Alberta) made 23 stops.
The Huskies were able to jump to a 1-0 lead 1:49 into the first period when Guimond put one home, but the Purple Knights quickly responded when Higgins hammered one past Torris at 3:35. Earle gave Saint Michael’s a 2-1 edge on the power play at the 7:54 mark when he fired a blistering slap shot, as he was falling down, to the top right corner of the net.
Southern Maine knotted the game at two after Nies was able to convert a power play opportunity at 5:29 of the second period. The two teams battled the rest of the period until just over five minutes remained, when Geary was able to tally and give the Purple Knights the lead for good at 14:29.
Dizgun and the rest of the Purple Knights ensured that the Huskies would not be able to tie the game as they held Southern Maine without a shot for over 15 minutes. However, once the Huskies were able to get one past the defense they continued to pressure, throwing 10 shots on net in the final five minutes. Dizgun came up big at 5:12, when he made a sprawling save on Guimond, who was wide open in the slot.
Southern Maine will play a home-and-home series next weekend with the University of New England. The teams will meet in Biddeford on Friday (7:00 p.m.) with the return engagement on Saturday (4:00 p.m.) at USM.