When Travis Vermeulen scored a short-handed goal with 6.3 seconds left in the second period to give St. Lawrence a 2-1 lead, it would have been easy for Union to lose confidence over giving up a goal that late in a period.
Instead, the 20th-ranked Dutchmen regrouped, and now find themselves tied for first place in ECAC Hockey.
The Dutchmen overcame Vermeulen’s potentially back-breaking goal by scoring three times in the third period Saturday and take a 4-2 victory over the Saints before 2,112 fans at Messa Rink.
The win moved Union (9-3-4 ECAC, 15-7-6 overall) into a three-way tie for first place with Cornell and Yale. Cornell lost to Princeton, 5-3, while Yale beat Harvard, 6-3. Cornell has a game in hand on Union and Yale, and it will play that game Feb. 16 at Colgate.
Union coach Nate Leaman isn’t worried about first place just yet.
“I think, three weekends ago, we were in first place by ourself, and looked what happened,” Leaman said. “Right now, every game in this league is going to be a war. It’s a matter of us trying to keep gaining points because you can’t get ahead of yourself.”
After the teams exchanged goals earlier in the second — Aaron Bogosian scored at 7:22 for the Saints (8-5-3, 14-10-5), and Adam Presizniuk tied it 2:30 later — Vermeulen got a step on the defense and backhanded the puck past goalie Keith Kinkaid.
The Saints should have had the momentum.
“I felt pretty good about it,” Saints coach Joe Marsh said. “All we wanted to do is come back and try to duplicate what we did in the first period. I thought we managed our shifts very, very well.”
The Dutchmen, who were coming off Friday’s 11-2 rout of Clarkson, knew they couldn’t be depressed about what happened. There were 20 minutes left to change the outcome.
“The guys were a little tense, but we always have to stay positive,” Union forward Mario Valery-Trabucco said. “There was a lot of talk in the locker room about the things we have to do to come back in this game.”
The talk worked.
Valery-Trabucco got things going just over three minutes into the third. He was in the slot when Jason Walters sent the puck from behind the net and fired it past goalie Kain Tisi.
Then at 7:11, Wayne Simpson got a fortunate goal. Mike Schreiber’s left-point shot was headed wide to the left of the net. But Simpson was near the net, and he tipped it off the right post and in.
“’Schreibs’ did a good job of just getting it anywhere near the net,” Simpson said. “I was able to get a stick on it. It just went inside the post. It was good to have a shift where we were creating some offense, and finally get it settled in their zone.”
St. Lawrence 020 — 2
Union 013 — 4
First Period — None. Penalties — Bolling, StL (interference), 9:34; Welsh, Uni (interference), 12:13.
Second Period — 1, St. Lawrence, Bogosian 14, 7:32. 2, Union, Presizniuk 10 (Walters, Valery-Trabucco), 9:52. 3, St. Lawrence, Vermeulen 12 (Curran), 19:53 (sh). Penalties — Klancher, StL (contact to head-elbowing), 11:47; St. Lawrence bench, served by Klancher (too many men), 15:14; Mobley, StL (boarding), 18:02.
Third Period — 4, Union, Valery-Trabucco 16 (Walters, Presizniuk), 3:09. 5, Union, W. Simpson 5 (Schreiber, Zajac), 7:11. 6, Union, Matheson 4 (Buote), 18:07. Penalty — Welsh, Uni (slashing), 15:29.
Shots on Goal — St. Lawrence 12-8-8 — 28. Union 5-12-7 — 24.
Power-play opportunities — St. Lawrence 0 of 2; Union 0 of 4.
Goalies — St. Lawrence, Tisi 8-5-3 (24 shots-20 saves). Union, Kinkaid 9-4-3 (28-26).
A — 2,112. T — 2:05.
Referees — Joe Carusone, Nick Litterio. Linesmen — Steve Shufelt. Jean-Yves Roy.
Categories: College Sports