BURLINGTON, Vt. — St. Lawrence recorded goals from four different players, including two from Kyle Rank, en route to a 5-3 victory over Vermont at Gutterson Fieldhouse Friday night.
The win snapped the Saints’ winless drought away from Appleton Arena, stretching back to the season opener against Miami. Meanwhile, the Catamounts loss ends a streak of four home games in which the team had been undefeated, 3-0-1.
“We didn’t deserve to win,” Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon said. “I thought St. Lawrence played a great hockey game tonight. We certainly did not play very well. We took a step backwards from how we played last week end, and I’m really disappointed. We can’t dwell on it though. We’ve got to rest up and get ready for a very good [Clarkson] Golden Knights team, but credit goes to St. Lawrence tonight. I thought they were the better team all around. They beat us in every battle.”
St. Lawrence controlled play right from the opening faceoff, playing stifling defense, hemming the sometimes explosive Vermont forwards into its own zone and not allowing them to create scoring chances with its speed.
The Saints broke onto the scoreboard first at 11:14 of the first period, gaining a lead that it would not relinquish.
Andrzej Sandrzyk had the puck behind the Vermont net. Sandrzyk fed a pass into the slot to Stace Page who deked a Vermont defender and Travis Russell and tucked the puck in the net nicely.
Minutes later the Saints struck again. Defenseman Drew Bagnall shot the puck from the right point through a screen set up in front of Russell. The puck was redirected by Rank neatly into the net.
Vermont got back into the game with a power-play goal five minutes later. Scott Mifsud carried the puck into the UVM zone and gave a pass to Gerard Miller. Miller whistled a shot off the post and past the glove of Saints netminder Kevin Ackley.
St. Lawrence continued its strong play in the second period. The Saints opened their second two-goal bulge of the night midway through the game at 10:04. Jaime Parker tallied his third of the year off a pass from Colin FitzRandolph on a wrister that barely found its way across the goal line behind Russell.
Vermont had its best chance of the period to score on a power play shortly after the goal. Gunderson held the puck at the center point. Gunderson slipped the puck to the net and Leisenring tipped it and it went off the far post and bounced harmlessly away.
In the third period, the Saints lit the lamp again. This time T.J. Trevelyan stole the puck from a Vermont defender and put the puck past Russell low. John Zeiler and Rich Peverley assisted the goal. Trevelyn’s 14th goal of the season proved to be the game-winner nearly five minutes into the period.
The Cats blazed the comeback trail from that point forward, only to fall short in the end.
Tim Plant scored the team’s second of the night on the power play to make it 4-2. Plant tipped an Evan Stoflet shot from the point past the glove of Ackley at the 9:00 mark. Stoflet’s helper was the first of his career, while the goal was Plant’s fourth of the year.
Vermont then made it 4-3 late in the game. Mifsud scored his seventh of the season from Jaime Sifers and Gunderson while the Vermont net was empty.
But that was as close as the Cats would get as Rank scored his second of the night into the empty net assisted by Bagnall for the final margin.
Ackley stopped 17 shots for the win, while Russell totaled 27 saves for Vermont.
St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh said his team played a complete game, “We played one of our better games tonight,” he said. “I think that we are a little better team than our record shows.”