SUPERIOR, Wis. — Wisconsin-Superior weathered a flurry of shots in the third period by visiting St. John’s to hold on for a 5-4 win in the first game of their NCAA quarterfinals series.
The Yellowjackets opened up a 5-2 lead on Eric Pitoscia’s second goal of the night at 7:08 of the third period as he and Jay Stewart went into the zone 2-on-1 on a lead pass from Jeff Glowa.
Superior then took six penalties, including a five-minute major and game disqualification on Stewart for hitting from behind. The Johnnies capitalized with two power-play tallies, a 5-on-3 goal by Chad Schmidt at 9:37 and a 4-on-3 score by Corey Huck at 13:22.
Coach John Harrington pulled St. John’s goaltender Rick Gregory with 44 seconds left in the contest, but the Yellowjackets were able to withstand the Johnnies’ attack and hold on for the win.
The third period power plays gave the Johnnies a 17-3 advantage in shots on goal in the last period. St. John’s outshot Superior 38-22 in the contest.
St. John’s got on the scoreboard first with Brian Fisher’s goal at 8:39 of the first. But that lead lasted only eight seconds, as Superior’s Pitoscia tied the game at one.
The Johnnies took their only lead of the night, 2-1, on Chad Hacker’s goal at 11:17 of the first period. Chris Hackett pulled the Yellowjackets back into a tie at 17:59 of the period.
Superior took a 4-2 lead into the third on second-period goals by Colin Kendall just 14 seconds into the period, and by Stewart at the 7:11 mark.
The two teams play the second game of the series at Superior’s Wessman Arena Saturday night, with a possible mini-game to follow.