Having already set a team record for offensive futility, Union was looking to score its first goal at Messa Rink in over a month.
It wasn’t looking promising to break that skid against 19th-ranked St. Lawrence. After two periods, the Dutchmen were down, 2-0, and getting a goal against the Saints’ outstanding freshman goalie Kyle Hayton looked daunting.
But, all of a sudden, the dam burst in the third period. Power-play goals by Daniel Ciampini, Mike Vecchione and Max Novak helped the Dutchmen upset the Saints, 3-2, and snap a five-game ECAC Hockey losing streak on Friday at Messa Rink.
“We’ve been saying all week that these games down the stretch are going to be one-goal games,” Ciampini said. “They’re going to be won or lost on special teams. I think the guys did a good job of staying disciplined, for the most part. We did a good job of capitalizing on our opportunities.”
The Dutchmen (7-13-1 ECAC Hockey, 15-16-2 overall) hadn’t scored at home since a 5-4 loss to Colgate on Jan. 17. They were shut out by Yale and Brown in their next home games Feb. 13-14. The Messa scoreless streak of 171 minutes, 49 seconds was snapped by Ciampini.
That skid came on the heels of the record-setting 223:40 and included three straight shutouts.
“I did not know that [about the home scoreless skid], and I don’t think our guys knew about that, either,” said Union assistant coach Joe Dumais, who spoke in place of head coach Rick Bennett, who is battling a head cold. “The guys have been showing up every day with a great attitude [and] working hard. They know, eventually, it’s going to come. They had that attitude this whole game.”
The Saints (14-6-1, 18-12-3) got goals from Brian Ward and Matt Purmal 21 seconds apart midway through the first period. Usually, that’s good enough for Hayton, who has been outstanding this season. He came into the game with a 1.88 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage.
St. Lawrence maintained the lead going into the third period. Then it lost its discipline.
The penalty parade started 2:03 into the third when Alex Dahl checked Tyler Hynes from behind along the right-wing boards in the Union zone. Dahl received a five-minute major and game misconduct.
Union didn’t do much on the power play. In fact, the Saints’ Tommy Thompson got a short-handed breakaway, which led to a slashing penalty on Novak at 4:14 and put the teams at four skaters aside.
“I didn’t have much of a choice. I couldn’t really catch him,” Novak said. “I just had to smack him on the wrist there.”
But the Dutchmen caught a break when Mike Marnell was sent off for hooking at 5:38, giving them a four-on-three advantage. Ciampini made the Saints pay 17 seconds later when his wrister from the slot beat Hayton, who was perfectly screened by Spencer Foo.
“That’s something we talked about for the past couple of days, was making sure we were getting good screens and getting guys to the net, something we weren’t doing before,” Ciampini said. “I couldn’t even see the goalie. He did a really good job. I decided to shoot around him.
“That was a big-time play. He didn’t get an assist, but he gets an assist in my book.”
The Saints weren’t done taking penalties. A Patrick Doherty slashing penalty at 6:04 gave Union another power-play chance, and Vecchione converted the opportunity at 7:31 when his left-wing circle shot hit a St. Lawrence player and caromed past Hayton.
“Just trying to get pucks to the net was the most important thing with those screens,” Vecchione said.
A Thompson interference penalty with 8:13 left put Union on a power play again. And the Dutchmen took the lead when Novak, stationed to the right of Hayton, buried a Ciampini pass from the right circle into the net with 6:49 to go.
The game was delayed for 18 minutes when a shot by Saints defenseman Nolan Gluchowski broke a pane of glass behind the Union net with 1:02 left.
St. Lawrence 2 0 0 — 2
Union 0 0 3 — 3
First Period — 1, St. Lawrence, Ward 8 (Bayreuther, Gluchowski), 9:18 (pp). 2, St. Lawrence, Purmal 4 (Martin, Hagen), 9:39. Penalties — Thompson, StL (hooking), 3:03; Vasaturo, Uni (holding), 8:15; Ward, StL (tripping), 10:18; Martin, StL (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:25; Foo, Uni (goaltender interference), 16:25; Gingras, Uni (interference), 18:04.
Second Period — None. Penalty — Doherty, StL (holding), 4:39.
Third Period — 3, Union, Ciampini 25 (Vecchione), 5:55 (pp). 4, Union, Vecchione 16 (Novak, Lichtenwald), 7:31 (pp). 5, Union, Novak 7 (Ciampini, Brassard), 13:11 (pp). Penalties — Dahl, StL, major-game misconduct (checking from behind), 2:03; Novak, Uni (slashing), 4:14; Marnell, StL (hooking), 5:38; Doherty, StL (slashing), 6:44; Cruice, Uni (boarding), 10:14; Thompson, StL (interference), 11:47.
Shots on Goal — St. Lawrence 15-4-6 — 25. Union 10-9-10 — 29.
Power-play opportunities — St. Lawrence 1 of 3; Union 3 of 7.
Goalies — St. Lawrence, Hayton 18-11-3 (29 shots-26 saves). Union, Stevens 12-13-0 (25-23).
A — 2,009. T — 2:26.
Referees — Mike Baker, Kyle Allen. Linesmen — Matt Brady, Mike Emanatian.
Categories: College Sports