CANTON, N.Y. — It was a game of stellar goaltending, not points scoring, for Quinnipiac, as freshman goaltender Justin Eddy made 58 saves and allowed one goal in a game against St. Lawrence that ended in a 1-1 tie.
“Justin played great,” Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said. “He was sharp tonight, he’s been sharp all year, it was an outstanding performance.”
Eddy was the one problem that the Saints could not solve, as St. Lawrence (1-2-1) dominated the first period of play. The Saints kept the puck bottled up in the Quinnipiac (5-0-2) zone, but St. Lawrence could not convert on the multiple scoring opportunities it generated. The combination of goaltending and tough defense helped to keep the game scoreless after one period.
“We wanted to come out strong tonight,” said St. Lawrence forward Mike Gellard. “It’s one thing we wanted to focus on, and I think we came out really well. We got all over [Quinnipiac] with a lot of shots, but their goalie played well, and you have got to give [Eddy] credit for making big stops.”
The level of play picked up in the second period, as both teams’ intensity on defense picked up. Eddy continued to stonewall the Saints’ offense, and it looked as if the game could go scoreless, until Todd Bennett broke the tie for Quinnipiac with 3:45 left in the period. Bennett received the pass from teammate Jed Holtzman, and skated towards the St. Lawrence goal. With a defender in front of him, Bennett took the shot from the middle of the faceoff circle to the right of St. Lawrence goaltender Sean Coakley. The puck bounced into the goal off the opposite post on a low shot, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead.
Quinnipiac held the lead for a short while, as St. Lawrence notched the equalizer to make it a 1-1 game. Erik Anderson skated in from the right side and took a shot at Eddy. The rebound came out to Mike Gellard, who took the shot and beat Eddy up high.
In the third period, St. Lawrence looked to have the go-ahead goal, before it was waved off. Before falling to the ice, Eddy had stopped the Saints offense again, but he was unable to control the rebound. The puck found its way to a waiting Anderson, who lifted a shot at goal that was gloved out of the air by Eddy. Anderson contended that the glove and puck had crossed the goal line, but the officials did not, and the game remained tied.
“Our team played really hard, just awesome defense. We did give a lot of shots, but I thought we competed real hard,” Eddy said. “It’s a big step for our program, getting a point from one of the better teams in college hockey.”
No MAAC team has recorded a win against any ECAC team. Both Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence were picked to finish first in its respective conference.
“I was really impressed with our performance,” said Saints coach Joe Marsh. “We generated a lot of opportunities, this is the best that we’ve looked, and we’ve got to build up the positives we had. We made mistakes, but I’m happy with the effort.”
Both teams were unable to convert on the power play, as St. Lawrence went 0-for-6 and Quinnipiac went 0-for-2. Shots on goal favored the Saints, 58-20.
Quinnipiac travels the 10 miles to Potsdam on Saturday to face Clarkson, while St. Lawrence begins ECAC league play next weekend at Yale and Princeton.