A week after Daylight Saving Time ended, Point Saving Time began for the Union hockey team.
In this case, the Dutchmen appeared to have set their game clock ahead an hour on Saturday night, sleepwalking through a ho-hum first period and falling behind 2-0 against St. Lawrence at Messa Rink.
Union got it together after that, though, and used goals by its top line in the second and third periods to salvage a 2-2 tie and an ECAC Hockey standings point.
Sebastian Vidmar cut it to 2-1 in at 6:16 of the second period, and Spencer Foo lifted a short shot just under the crossbar from a tight angle at 2:35 of the third.
“It’s a good tie,” head coach Rick Bennett said. “When you’re on these 22 league wars — no reference to Veterans Day — those points are going to add up at the end of the season. We’ll look back at this as a good learning lesson. You take a period off against an excellent hockey team, this is what you get.”
“Our resiliency is really good,” senior captain Mike Vecchione said. “We had a bad first period, but the second and third, we really poured it on and had a couple great chances to put them away. We’ll take the point, but we are a little disappointed we didn’t bury some of those chances.”
The No. 15/16 Dutchmen (4-0-1 ECAC Hockey, 8-2-2 overall) return to action at 7 tonight against Clarkson at Messa.
The teams went more than 12 minutes without a penalty or goal to start the game, before the Saints’ Will Harrison was whistled for slashing at 12:23.
It was St. Lawrence that got on the scoreboard short-handed, though, as defenseman Nolan Gluchowski rang one off the post after the Saints (2-0-1, 5-4-2) had won a faceoff in Union’s end.
St. Lawrence made it 2-0 at 16:16 of the first when Mike Marnell cleaned up a rebound in the crease off a wrist shot from the left point by Matt Purmal.
“That was a [defensive] switch that we didn’t communicate,” Bennett said. “We didn’t have much ‘TNT,’ which is what we call Talk Now Time.”
After the bad first period, the Dutchmen calmly talked it out in the locker room, got some feedback from Bennett, then went back out there with a refreshed approach in the second period.
“We just weren’t winning as many battles as we could, but we were able to bounce back, had a little talk in the intermission and we got ‘er going again,” Foo said.
“We had seven or eight minutes to regain the composure and basically sit there and try and get the buzz going,” Vecchione said.
“Just go in there calm,” Bennett said. “This is a pretty smart group. They knew they didn’t play well. Credit to Sak [goalie Alex Sakellaropoulos], he kept us in it. It could’ve been three-, four-zip. We just kind of stuck with it, which is what these guys have done. They haven’t panic. There was a lot of poise, and you’ve just got to feed off that.”
The Dutchmen got one back at 6:16 of the second after weathering hooking penalties to Foo 27 seconds into the period and to Vidmar 3:24 in.
They were almost in a
3-0 hole, but Sakellaropoulos made five saves during the penalty kill with Vidmar in the box.
From his defensive end, Foo fired a nice breakout pass ahead to Vecchione, who passed it across the slot to Vidmar. He moved patiently from right to left across the crease and slid it under Kyle Hayton for his seventh goal of the season.
Union had another great scoring chance with less than five minutes left in the second when Jeff Taylor sent Foo into the offensive zone and he shoveled it across the slot while being checked. Vecchione picked it up on the right side and slid the puck through the crease, just out of reach of Vidmar.
Vidmar’s goal was the first given up by the Hayton in seven-plus periods, after he shut out Princeton and Quinnipiac last weekend.
Foo tied it when he got a pass through the front of the crease while he was camped on the left post.
In 12 games, the Vidmar-Vecchione-Foo line has amassed 64 points on 23 goals and 41 assists.
“Viddy got the puck down low and was able to get it to me,” Foo said. “It probably wasn’t great positioning, because that was the only lane he had to pass it to me, in my feet. I just picked it up and kind of put it on net. I couldn’t really tell how much room I had. So . . . a little bit lucky.”
“What I liked tonight was the penalty kill, shut the door, and I love how the power play just stayed with it,” Bennett said. “To me, that’s a sign of a bunch of guys that are willing and buying in, because they didn’t get frustrated on the power play. And let’s be honest, it got us a point.”
Junior wing Tyler Hynes of Guilderland, an Albany Academy graduate, saw his first game action of the season.
St. Lawrence 2 0 0 0 — 2
Union 0 1 1 0 — 2
First period — 1, St. Lawrence, Gluchowski 1 (Dahl, Sullivan), 13:30 (sh). 2, St. Lawrence, Marnell 3 (Purmal), 16:16. Penalties — Harrison, SLU (slashing), 12:23; Lough, SLU (holding), 18:10.
Second period — 3, Union, Vidmar 7 (Vecchione, Foo), 6:16. Penalties — Foo, Union (hooking), :27; Vidmar, Union (hooking), 3:24; Hudson, SLU (slashing), 11:32; Dahl, SLU (hooking), 15:53.
Third period — 4, Union, Foo 6 (Vidmar, Vecchione), 2:35 (pp). Penalties — Sullivan, SLU (cross-checking), 1:19; Foo, Union (tripping), 10:19; Hudson, SLU (interference), 12:37.
Overtime — None.
Shots on goal — St. Lawrence, 10-9-5-1—25; Union, 10-4-11-4—29.
Power-play opportunities — St. Lawrence, 0 of 3; Union, 1 of 6.
Goaltenders — St. Lawrence, Hayton 5-3-2 (29 shots-27 saves); Union, Sakellaropoulos 7-0-1 (25-23).
Time — 2:25. Attendance — 1,973.
Referees — Chip McDonald, Chris Mastrangelo. Linesmen — Ryan Knapp, Glen Cooke.