Pieprzak's overtime marker lifts Purple Knights to 5-4 win over Castleton State

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - Sophomore AJ Pieprzak (Barrie, Ontario/Ridley College) tallied the game-winning goal with 39.4 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team a 5-4 win over Castleton State College in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East play on Saturday at Cairns Arena. The Purple Knights, who celebrated Senior Day, improve to 8-15 overall and 5-11 in the league, while the Spartans, who are receiving a vote in the most recent D3hockey.com national poll, fall to 13-9-2 and 8-8-1.

Saint Michael's received two goals each from Pieprzak and senior Josh Geary (Wellesley, Mass./Phillips Andover Academy), while junior Kevin Lampron (Boston, Mass./Bridgewater Bandits) scored his first of the season. Senior Morgan Bell (Vancouver, British Columbia/Saint Albert Saints) and sophomores William Côté (Quebec City, Quebec/Rice Memorial Prep) and Mark Higgins (Plainville, Mass./Bridgewater Bandits) chipped in two assists apiece, and senior Eric McGuirk (Rehoboth, Mass./Bridgewater Bandits) stopped 32 shots.

Junior Ryan Delorme (Kanata, Ontario/Kemptville) tallied a goal and two assists for Castleton State, while classmate Kyle Pichler (Anchorage, Alaska/Alaska) finished with a goal and an assist. Senior Josh Harris (Torrance, Calif./Breakers) and first-year Tyler Gaudry (Stonewall, Manitoba/Dauphin) also had goals, and junior Erick Cinotti (Mahwah, N.J./Wichita Falls) made 30 saves.

Delorme gave the Spartans the early 1-0 lead with a goal 11 seconds into the first period before Lampron scored on the power play 3:33 later to knot the game at one goal apiece. The Purple Knights struck first during a five-goal second period, when Geary tallied during a four-on-four situation 59 seconds into the frame. Gaudry's power-play goal made the score 2-2 22 ticks later before Harris' marker 6:51 into the stanza gave the visitors the lead. Geary buried his second of the contest with 57.2 seconds to play in the period, and Pieprzak scored on the man advantage with 3.0 seconds left to put Saint Michael's in front, 4-3, at the end of two.

Pichler converted a short-handed goal with 3:15 remaining in the third period to send the game to overtime before Pieprzak netted the game-winner.

Saint Michael's celebrated Senior Day on Saturday, honoring Bell, Geary, McGuirk, Justin Castagna (Los Alamitos, Calif./Los Angeles Jr. Kings), Mike Dizgun (Montreal, Quebec/OCN Blizzard), Dan Evarts (Hinesburg, Vt./Green Mountain Glades), Michael Jangro (Reading, Mass./Valley Jr. Warriors), Connor Logan (Shelburne, Vt./Green Mountain Glades), Colby MacDonald (Byfield, Mass./Valley Jr. Warriors), Tim McAuliffe (North Reading, Mass./Vermont Academy), Dan Pelletier (Sutton, Mass./South Kent School), Rich Rodeschini (Katonah, N.Y./Canterbury School), Adam Shemory (South Euclid, Ohio/Gilmour Academy) and Petr Soustal (Unicov, Czech Republic/Gynmazium Unicov) during a ceremony after the game.

Saint Michael's is back on the ice on Friday when it travels to face the nationally-ranked University of Massachusetts at Boston at 7 p.m.

The Edmundite Catholic Liberal Arts College