SAULT STE. MARIE, MICH. — St. Lawrence University delivered Lake Superior State its third straight loss Friday night, as the Saints beat the Lakers 2-1 in nonconference play. The win is the first of the season for the Saints, who are now 1-2-0.
“St. Lawrence played very physically in the beginning of the game. They were running us out of our own building,” said Lake Superior head coach Frank Anzalone.
“In the second we started to battle back and we played like we were into the game a little bit more. If we put the first period to sleep, then we didn’t play such a bad game.”
Both teams were scoreless through two periods, but Charlie Daniels gave the Saints a one-goal lead with a power-play goal a little over five minutes into the third period.
Just 16 seconds later, Blair Clarance put the Saints up by two as he tucked one in the right side of the Laker net. Russ Bartlett added an assist on Clarance’s first goal of the season.
The Lakers gained some momentum halfway through the third when sophomore Adam Nightingale scored his first of the season. The Lakers were forced to pull goaltender Scott Murray with 59 seconds remaining hoping for a tying goal to push the game into overtime. Despite the extra attacker, Lake State was unable to capitalize numerous chances and suffered the 2-1 loss.
“Hopefully we are learning from these low periods and we will just keep getting better. Obviously our first period has got to be better. We have to play with more passion right from the get-go,” said Anzalone.
Lake State gave up 37 shots, while St. Lawrence only allowed 24. Murray made 34 saves for the Lakers, who are now 0-3 overall.
“Murray was under some pressure at times, but he made a couple of really big saves for us in the first period and he kept us in the game,” said Anzalone.
This was the first meeting between St. Lawrence and Lake State since Nov. 1, 1996, when the visiting Lakers defeated St. Lawrence 6-3 under the direction of Jeff Jackson.
Tonight also marked the first meeting between Frank Anzalone and Joe Marsh since 1988, when the two met in the 1988 NCAA Championship game in Lake Placid, New York. That night the Lakers won a 4-3 overtime contest to take home their first NCAA title.
The Saints and Lakers (0-3-0) will wrap up their two-game, non-conference series tomorrow night in Sault Ste. Marie.