HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth showed no love for St. Lawrence on Valentine’s Day, beating the Saints into submission with four first-period goals on the way to a 5-3 conference victory.
On an early two-on-none, Mike Ouellette slid the puck over to Darcy Marr for what seemed like a sure one-zip lead. Saints’ goaltender Sean Knaub denied him with a sliding split save across his crease.
Nick Boucher made an equally spectacular save on the other side of the ice after a forward squeaked through only to hit the blocker of the fallen Dartmouth goalie.
Dartmouth drew first blood, as sophomore Joe Gaul sent a long feed to classmate Chris Snizek, who broke away from the defense and put his backhander top-shelf for his fifth goal of the season.
“It’s something we do naturally,” Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet said of the long pass. “They’re aggressive, so they’ve got a lot of guys down. Once you get the puck out in the neutral zone, it ends up in an outnumbered rush.”
Just 28 seconds later, senior winger Mike Murray scrapped in front of the net and floated the puck over Knaub to give Dartmouth an early two-goal lead.
Hugh Jessiman quelled any Saints’ thoughts of a comeback, adding two more goals to his team-leading total (17) at 17:55 and 18:15 of the first period.
Catching Knaub mid-slumber, Jessiman came out from behind the net and swept the puck in for his first goal. Lee Stempniak did the work for the second, shooting the puck through the five-hole before a sprawling Jessiman tapped the rebound into an open net.
“We got some fortunate bounces and we cashed in on them,” Gaudet said. “But it was through hard work. We finished our checks, got the puck deep and we got outnumbered rushes.”
In the second period, Saints’ right winger Jim Lorentz put a dent into the Big Green’s ample lead with a slapshot that sailed over Boucher’s shoulder. But St. Lawrence relinquished the momentum it had by taking a bench minor for having too many men on the ice.
Physical defenseman P.J. Martin garnered his third assist on a power-play shot that Jarrett Sampson redirected past Knaub.
“It felt great,” Martin, the first star of the game, said. “I’ve never had more than two points in a game before.”
The Big Green quietly dominated the second frame, outshooting the Saints 16-4.
The Saints salvaged two goals in the final frame. Slovenian junior Ziga Petac broke loose during some four-on-four action and snapped a shot past Boucher from the left side. Rich Peverley put in the Saints’ third and final goal.
“It’s a hard lead to play with,” Gaudet said. “Our kids played hard.”