PROVIDENCE, R.I. — St. Lawrence rallied from behind at Providence to escape with a 4-3 OT victory on Friday night.
With 9 seconds left in the third period, the game was all but over. Providence, cruising towards a 3-2 win, called a timeout to discuss running out the clock.
“We wanted to discuss the play, basically just winning the draw and mucking out
the rest of the clock,” said Providence head coach Paul Pooley.
Yet, the St. Lawrence bench had a different plan. The Saints used the timeout to get their best players ready to play and it proved to be a huge lift.
Blair Clarance won the ensuing draw to Ray DiLauro at the point. The defenseman slid a perfect pass over to Charlie Daniels who promptly fired a one-timer into the top right corner, evening the score at 3-3 to force overtime with just six seconds left on the clock.
The Saints used that goal to propel them to the win in OT. A broken play behind the net resulted in a Rich Peverly goal off of the skate of a Friar. A stunned Providence team skated to the bench in absolute disbelief of the events that occurred in the last 3 minutes of the game.
“We haven’t had the best luck in close games this year,” said Saints coach Joe Marsh. “We’ve lost four one-goal games and to have one finally go our way is a great feeling. Providence seems to be falling into the same kind of pattern. A game like this can definitely pull your team up from that.”
The Friars had dominated play for the majority of the game. They entered the third up a goal, and seemed to be well on the way to earning their fifth win of the year.
Providence found itself out front on the play of Doug Wright, Michael Lucci, and Jonathan Goodwin. The checking line dug out pucks in the corners and cycled beautifully. Their hard work turned into two Providence goals in the second period, both scored on feeds from behind the net and strong finishes.
“I thought we played well tonight, but we broke down too many times. We’ve gotten contributions from all over, but we’ve been unable to put a 60-minute game together,” said Pooley.
The breakdowns in the first period might have cost the Friars the game. Providence surrendered the first goal for the 12th time in 13 games this year. Nolan Schaefer, allowed two goals on 14 shots, struggled, surrending the first goal of the game on a weak turnaround wrister by Clarance.
Schaefer’s woes continued in the period as he misplayed a puck behind the net and watched helplessly as Mike Muir deposited the loose puck into the empty goal.
“Nolan just wasn’t seeing the puck and so we went with David,” said Pooley. “Schaefer has played every game for us so far this year and he was just struggling tonight. He needs to play a full game for us without any mental lapses and he was just unable to that.”
Pooley pulled Schaefer to start the second period and the Friars responded to the move, scoring two goals with freshman David Cacciola playing his first minutes of the season in net.
Cacciola stopped 25 shots en route to the hard luck loss. Mike McKenna made 30 saves to pick up the win for the Saints.
Providence looks to find its winning ways against a tough Clarkson team tomorrow night while St. Lawrence takes the show on the road at Northeastern.