ORONO, Maine — In the first game of the Black Bear Classic, the defending ECAC champion St. Lawrence Saints rode stellar performances by center Jim Lorentz and forward Alan Fyfe to a 5-1 win over Holy Cross.
St. Lawrence, which wore down a young Crusader club, scored late in all three periods.
“They were physical, and I think that took its toll on us,” said Holy Cross head coach Paul Pearl.
First, Fyfe broke a scoreless tie at 15:19 with a spectacular rush set up by junior defenseman Ray DiLauro.
DiLauro gathered a loose puck in the defensive zone and flipped a pass out of the zone to a streaking Fyfe. The senior chipped the puck over Crusader defenseman Chris Smith’s stick, breaking in on Holy Cross goalie Derek Cunha (38 saves).
“The defenseman got back and got into me a little bit,” said Fyfe. “I wanted to go backhand, but I didn’t have any choice.” Fyfe roofed a quick forehand wrist shot over Cunha’s glove to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
St. Lawrence struck again three minutes later when forward Mike Gellard flipped a wrister in front from the point that found its way through Cunha’s pads. The Saints took a 2-0 lead into the first break.
“We wanted to come out and establish ourselves offensively,” said St. Lawrence head coach Joe Marsh. “I think we accomplished that.”
SLU put up one more shot in the first period (14) against Holy Cross then the Saints did all last week against Northeastern.
The second period was a carbon copy of the first: back-and-forth action punctuated by two late St. Lawrence goals.
At 17:30 of the second, SLU defenseman Matt Desrosiers found the back of the net with a slapshot from the left point with the Saints enjoying the man advantage. Forty seconds later, Saint forward Robin Carruthers connected on his first of the year for a commanding 4-0 lead.
Late in the third, Crusader forward Pat Rissmiller broke up the shutout, beating SLU goalie Jeremy Symington (18 saves) high off a deflection.
Saint Blair Clarence added a late tally for the final score.
“Our backcheck and forecheck were aggressive tonight,” said Fyfe. “We are that type of team, and when we don’t play that way we get beaten like last week.”
“I saw some good things tonight,” added Marsh. “I also saw some things, like giving up the blue line, that we’ll need to tighten up tomorrow night.”
The Saints will face host Maine, winners against the U.S. Developmental squad, in the tourney championship at 7 p.m. at Alfond.