Saint Michael's wins on day one of men's DoubleTree Ice Hockey Classic, Pieprzak nets two

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College and Becker College men's ice hockey teams won on day one of the Purple Knights' eighth annual DoubleTree Ice Hockey Classic on Saturday at Cairns Arena. The hosts claimed an 8-2 Northeast-10 Conference victory over Southern New Hampshire University, and Becker downed Assumption College, 5-2.

Sophomore AJ Pieprzak (Barrie, Ontario/Ridley College) had two goals for Saint Michael's, which is 3-8 overall and 1-2 in the league. Senior Josh Geary (Wellesley, Mass./Phillips Andover Academy), sophomore William Côté (Quebec City, Quebec/Rice Memorial Prep) and first-year Kevin Altidor (Montreal, Quebec/Millbrook School) each had a goal and an assist, while seniors Tim McAuliffe (North Reading, Mass./Vermont Academy) and Petr Soustal (Unicov, Czech Republic/Gymnazium Unicov) and sophomore Jeremy Wong (Montreal, Quebec/Tilton School) also tallied. Senior Eric McGuirk (Rehoboth, Mass./Bridgewater Bandits) made17 saves.

Sophomore Steven Berry (Ashburn, Va./New Hampton School) and first-year Joe Collins (Mansfield, Mass./Bridgewater Bandits) both scored for the Penmen, now 2-8-2 and 0-2-1, and first-year Dave Letarte (Salem, Mass./Saint John's Prep) recorded 23 saves in 31:53. Junior Max Paluszynski (Moorestown, N.J./Wheatfield Jr. Blades) had 18 stops in 28:07 of relief.

Pieprzak scored the lone goal of the first period before the Purple Knights scored four times in a 3:46 span of the second, with Altidor, McAuliffe, Wong and Soustal all tallying. Berry found the back of the net at 13:21 for Southern New Hampshire, but Côté converted on a power play at 15:13 to make it 6-1. Pieprzak and Geary scored 26 seconds apart early in the third before Collins scored with 4:18 left.

In the day's opener, senior David Graham (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Helena Jr. Bighorns) notched a goal and two assists for 6-6 Becker, while classmate Branden Parkhouse (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Helena Jr. Bighorns) had a marker and a helper. Senior Don Kane (Staten Island, N.Y./New York Bobcats) and sophomores Cody Edwards (Kansas City, Mo./Blind River Beavers) and Justin Erhart (Saint Paul, Minn./Blind River Beavers) also scored, and first-year Gregg Hussey (Medford, Mass./Valley Jr. Warriors) made 32 saves.

Junior Ross White (Uxbridge, Mass./Uxbridge) and sophomore Brennen Shaw (Presque Isle, Maine/Brewster Academy) both scored for 2-11-1 Assumption, while junior Bobby Bowden (Springfield, Mass./Williston Northampton School) had 37 stops.

Graham and Kane both scored on first-period power plays while helping Becker carry a 2-1 edge into the third. White knotted the contest on a man-advantage strike 1:21 into the third, but Erhart and Parkhouse scored 1:14 apart, with Erhart making it 4-2 by 5:21.

The DoubleTree Ice Hockey Classic concludes tomorrow with two more games. Becker takes on Southern New Hampshire at 1 p.m., and the Purple Knights oppose Assumption in an NE-10 contest at 4 p.m. The team champion, most valuable player and all-tournament team will be announced following the completion of the Classic.