SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey senior Mike Dizgun (Montreal, Quebec/OCN Blizzard) made four of his 37 saves in the final 2:30 to preserve a 2-1 victory over Saint Anselm College on Friday in Cairns Arena. The Purple Knights extended their winning streak to three, improving to 7-12 overall and 4-9 in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East, while the Hawks are 11-6-2 and 7-6-1.
The Purple and Gold, which is 5-4 since a 2-8 start, improved to 3-1-2 in its last six home games with Saint Anselm. The Hawks had lost only three times in their last 13 contests, going 9-3-1, and were limited to one goal or less for just the third time this season after entering the night averaging 3.78 goals.
Dizgun earned his fourth victory of the season, yielding only a 5-on-3 goal to Saint Anselm, while sophomore AJ Pieprzak (Barrie, Ontario/Ridley College) had a goal and an assist. First-year Kevin Altidor (Montreal, Quebec/Millbrook School) also scored.
Junior Greg Merrill (Brighton, Mich./Bay State Breakers) tallied for the visitors, and classmate Nick Dries (Commerce Township, Mich./Bay State Breakers) made 20 saves.
Despite being outshot 10-6 in the opening period, the Purple Knights scored twice, once early and once late. Altidor broke the scoreless deadlock after 4:47, back-handing home Pieprzak's pass from behind the net. With 3:08 remaining, Pieprzak netted a goal of his own, crashing the net and knocking in a pass from sophomore William Côte (Quebec City, Quebec/Rice Memorial Prep) as Côté was being pulled down by a Hawk.
Dizgun made a big save of senior Tucker Mullin (Andover, Mass./Phillips Andover Academy) 90 seconds into the second period after Mullin intercepted a pass near the blue line and broke in alone, and Dizgun added four stops in the first minute of a power play near the middle of the period to keep it 2-0. After Purple Knight senior Josh Geary (Wellesley, Mass./Phillips Andover Academy) rung the post on a power play with six minutes left, Saint Anselm took advantage of a 5-on-3 advantage when Merrill scored on a blast from the blue line at 18:15.
In the third period, Dizgun made a point-blank stop of Mullin two minutes in before the Purple Knights had a pair of golden chances to grab a two-goal lead in the final four minutes, but Pieprzak was denied directly off a face-off at 16:15, and Geary hit the post 30 seconds later. In the final 2:30, Dizgun turned away senior Mike Richard (Derry, N.H./New England Huskies) three times, including directly off a draw and then on a tip out front before the goalie stopped another Hawk's follow-up try. With nine seconds to go, Dizgun stopped Richard once more, at the left side of the cage following a Saint Anselm shot being blocked.
The Purple Knights host New England College tomorrow at 4 p.m.