CANTON, N.Y. — St. Lawrence exploded for a trio of third-period goals, two on the power play, and went on to its third straight victory with a 5-3 win over Providence Saturday night.
Freshman Kevin DeVergilio had a goal and two assists as part of the big third period. The Saints improved to 3-1-0 on the season, completing a weekend sweep. Providence fell to 0-2-0.
“Our freshman class had another strong weekend and continue to play very well,” said Saint coach Joe Marsh. “They gave us a lift and the three rookie defensemen did a great job in our shorthanded condition.”
The Saints lost junior defenseman Drew Bagnall to an injury on Friday night and skated forward Andrzej Sandrzyk on defense along with senior Mike Madill, sophomore Paul Wallmann and freshmen Shawn Fensel, Jared Ross and Zach Miskovic. Fensel and Ross each scored his first collegiate goal in the game and Miskovic added an assist.
The Saints took an early lead when freshman defenseman Shawn Fensel snapped a power-play wrist shot past Providence rookie goalie Stephen Ritter 5:36 into the game for his first collegiate goal.
It went to 2-0 at 13:29 when senior Mike Zbriger fired a shot over Ritter’s glove on a two-man rush, but Providence had a quick answer as Torry Gajda scored his first of the season right after the faceoff to make it a 2-1 game at 13:44 of the second.
Neither team scored in the second period as the goaltenders and penalty killers dominated play. St. Lawrence had chances to break it open with eight power-play chances through the first two periods, but came up empty after the first extra-man chance of the game.
The whistles came fast and furious in the third period as Providence was called for 12 penalties totaling 62 minutes. The Saints cashed in on two five-on-three power plays to put the game away.
DeVergilio gave the Saints a two-goal cushion just 1:43 into the period, but Gajda tapped home a shorthanded rebound at 4:42 to make it a 3-2 game. Max Taylor then gave the Saints a 4-2 lead with a five-on-three goal at 9:59 and freshman defenseman Jared Ross scored his first collegiate goal on a five-on-three at 10:24 to make it 5-2.
Providence got one back when Bryan Horan tucked the puck past Saint goalie Jason Pesony with 1:22 to play, but the Friars could get no closer.
Pesony finished with 33 saves for the Saints and won his third straight start. Ritter made 45 saves in his collegiate debut.
“It was another strong performance by Justin,” Marsh added. “He made some big saves with the game on the line. He is playing the position about as well as it can be played right now.”