McBride (12-22-36) and classmate Casey Parenteau (11-8-19) were the only double-digit goal scorers on the Saints last year, so it’s a good thing they’re coming back to Canton for a final round. The team scored 2.78 goals per game overall last time around, but finished in a three-way tie for eighth with only 58 ECAC goals.
Last year was a big letdown for coach Joe Marsh and his program, as the Saints of 2006-07 won the ECAC crown and battled in the NCAA tournament at season’s end.
“Kyle Rank, Drew Bagnall, Max Taylor,” he listed. “It comes down to three guys” as the difference between two years ago and last year, he said.
“We’ve got to grit it out and win some one-goal games,” he added.
The Saints only won 35 percent of their close games, whereas they were near .500 in their remaining decisions.
DeVergilio (8-17-25), junior Mike McKenzie (7-13-20), and defensemen Zach Miskovic (8-12-20) and Jared Ross (6-9-15) chipped in with at least a half-dozen goals apiece, and will be joined by former Union forward Augie DiMarzo (two years of eligibility remaining) and freshman winger Jacob Drewiske, brother of former Wisconsin captain Davis Drewiske.
“He’s a real hard worker, and works hard defensively,” said Marsh of the younger Drewiske.
Mostly, Marsh looks forward to having a tougher team to work with this season.
“We’re physically stronger than we were a year ago. We’re not going to throw teams around, but we’ll be able to play in confined areas better than last year,” he stated.
The defense should be stalwart for St. Lawrence this winter, returning five senior blueliners, four of whom played at least 33 of the Saints’ 37 games.
Between Miskovic, Ross, Matt Generous (3-12-15) and Sean Fensel (3-12-15), SLU looks super in back. Those four haven’t accounted for a single healthy scratch since their freshman year, and get plenty of support from cast members like junior Derek Keller (0-3-3) and sophomore Matt Raley (1-0-1). Jeff Caister joins the program from Wayne State as well, just to shore things up.
“The defense should be a strength,” Marsh emphasized.
The days of the four-man rotation are over, or so hopes Marsh. After playing a quartet of keepers for at least 350 minutes apiece last year, Petizian and Tisi are the remaining pair. The ‘keepers posted equal .884 save percentages last year, but Tisi’s 2.74 goals-against beat Petizian’s 3.49 by a wide margin.
Soon-to-be 21-year-old Robby Moss will challenge for time ‘tween the pipes as well, coming up after playing last year with North Iowa of the North American league.
The Saints are in the same boat as much of the rest of the league: a veteran defensive unit, questionable goaltending, and desperately seeking offense. Therefore, it’s hard to put them above the likes of Rensselaer, Harvard, Colgate or Dartmouth, but there’s no reason to put them beneath these teams either.
Yet another member of the Middle of the Pack Club, and it will only make for an even more competitive season.