SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - Junior Paul McAuliffe (Newton, Mass./Kimball Union Academy) scored his second goal of the game 3:22 into overtime to finish off a two-goal comeback and hand the Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team a 6-5 victory over Franklin Pierce University on Friday evening during Northeast-10 Conference play at Cairns Arena. Thanks to action around the league, the teams moved out of a four-way tie for second place, with the Purple Knights now claiming sole possession of second, just one point behind Saint Anselm College.
The teams complete their two-game NE10 weekend series tomorrow at 4 p.m.
- Saint Michael's (9-6-1, 5-3 NE10), Franklin Pierce (10-6-1, 4-2 NE10)
SAINT MICHAEL'S LEADERS
- Junior Paul McAuliffe (Newton, Mass./Kimball Union Academy), 2 goals, 1 assist
- Junior Sel Narby (Huntington, N.Y./Connecticut Junior Rangers), 1 goal, 2 assists, 2 blocks
- First-year Jeremy Routh (Hamden, Conn./New Hampshire Junior Monarchs), 1 goal, 2 assists, +3
- Junior Thomas Flack (Toronto, Ontario/Saint Michael's Buzzers), 2 assists, 9-for-19 faceoffs
- Junior Niall Foster (Newmarket, N.H./Walpole Express), 1 goal, 5-for-11 faceoffs
- Sophomore Matt Egan (Hingham, Mass./Kimball Union Academy), 1 goal
- Junior Noah Muller (Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Düsseldorfer EG), 1 assist, 3 blocks
- Senior Tim Decker (Liverpool, N.Y./Canterbury School), 33 saves
- Senior James Morrissey, 2 goals
- Sophomore Anthony Nikolopoulos, 2 goals
- Senior Mark Indelicato, 1 goal, 1 assist
- Senior Alex Lester, 2 assists, 19-for-33 faceoffs
- Sophomore Kyle Martin, 25 saves
- The teams entered the night part of a four-way log jam for second place in the Northeast-10 Conference, with all four programs one point short of leader Saint Anselm College. Thanks to the Purple Knight win and action around the league, Saint Michael's departed the evening alone in second, and still one point short of victorious Saint Anselm.
- The Ravens entered the game leading the NE10 in both scoring offense (3.56) and scoring defense (2.88), having last allowed as many as six goals last Feb. 8. The teams have combined to score 23 goals in two meetings this year, with Franklin Pierce taking the Nov. 22 contest by an 8-4 count.
- The Purple Knights improved to 21-3 in the all-time series, including 11-1 at home, while now leading 5-0 in one-goal affairs.
- Saint Michael's erased a two-goal deficit to win for the second time in four games after not doing so previously since Feb. 24, 2018.
- The Purple Knights improved to 4-1-1 in overtime games this season after going 4-8-8 over their prior 20 overtime affairs since 2015-16. Four overtime wins is a school record, and four different Saint Michael's players have netted the winners in an extra session.
- Decker tied Tyler Bilton '09 for seventh in program history in career wins (21). Decker saved a first-period penalty shot, as all three Purple Knight goalies have now denied a penalty shot this season, all within the last seven games.
- Foster, who was dressed as the 13th forward, netted his first goal of the year, becoming the 19th different Purple Knight with at least one tally this season.
- Senior Matthew Toombs was sprung for a breakaway that Decker denied early in the first period, but a penalty shot was assessed on the play. On the ensuing chance, at 2:02, Decker saved Toombs' backhanded shot.
- In a scoreless game, Lester won a faceoff that then bounced off of the official's skate and redirected toward the blue line, where Indelicato sent a shot that found the upper left corner at 6:10.
- Narby struck for the tying goal on a power play just 3:29 later, picking the upper left corner from the mid-slot after Flack sent a backhanded pass from the left post.
- Egan gave Saint Michael's a 2-1 edge at 13:50. Routh had a bid stopped at the left post but snagged his own rebound and slipped a pass toward the crease, where Egan finished under a skater trying to block an open net with Martin out of position.
- Morrissey knotted the game 3:57 into the second period by picking the upper left corner from the slot, but McAuliffe put the Purple Knights back in front just 19 seconds later, intercepting a Raven pass above the left circle and finishing a few strides closer to the net.
- Franklin Pierce scored the next three goals to forge ahead 5-3, beginning with Nikolopoulos finishing a 2-on-1 breakout with Toombs by one-timing a shot home from the right circle at 9:48, tying the game.
- Morrissey one-timed a go-ahead goal from the slot at 9:26 of the third period despite a defender flanking him following Lester's pass from behind the net, and Nikolopoulos completed the spurt 1:11 later by tipping home senior Cameron Shepardson's pass from the left circle during a power play.
- Routh responded 1:11 after that, at 11:48, finishing a run of three goals in a matter of 2:22 by tallying from the right side of the slot.
- First-year Jason Ladzinski nearly reestablished the two-goal lead at 16:21 but rung the crossbar, and the hosts tied the game shortly thereafter. Routh deked his man at the blue line during a rush and moved through the left circle before crossing to Foster, whose one-timer from the right circle tied the game.
- Routh nearly won the game late in regulation, but his bid hit the left post with 18 seconds to go.
- Saint Michael's gained a power play 2:56 into overtime, and on the only shot for either team in the period, McAuliffe spun and swept the puck home around Martin at 3:22 after the netminder had come out to contest a misstruck shot by Narby in the left circle.
NEXT SAINT MICHAEL'S GAME
- Saturday vs. Franklin Pierce, 4 p.m.