ROCHESTER, N.Y. — St. Lawrence played a steady game, patiently creating opportunities throughout, and paced to a 6-3 victory over RIT Saturday. RIT tried to mount a comeback early in the second period, tying the game 3-3, but the Saints reestablished control of the game territorially and controlled play for the remainder of the game.
“Patience was the point before the game,” said St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh. “Not to force things and get better communication on the ice was important for us. When we got away from that is when [RIT] took it to us.”
No. 18 St. Lawrence played patiently during the first period, looking for opportunities instead of trying to force the issue. The strategy paid dividends early as the Saints took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play to take the 1-0 lead.
Directly off a face off to the left of RIT goaltender Jocelyn Guimond, Kevin DeVergilio carried the puck laterally across the slot. He wristed a quick shot that sailed over Guimond’s shoulder for the goal at 4:49.
“We had two huge goals from DeVergilio that were a great individual effort,” said Marsh. “He is very skilled and has great hands.”
The Saints also did a great job of shutting down RIT’s opportunities on its first power play around the 7:40 mark, preventing the Tigers from getting any shots on goal over the full two minute man advantage.
St. Lawrence took its first two-goal lead of the weekend at 10:31 when the Saints broke into the RIT zone two-on-one. T.J. Trevelyan passed across the slot to John Zeiler who buried the shot for the goal.
RIT clawed back into the contest less than a minute later when Marc Hyman ripped off a wrister that deflected off a defender’s stick and into the back of the net. The Tiger power-play goal at 11:20 narrowed the Saints lead to 2-1.
“RIT played a strong game tonight,” said Marsh. “Things were going our way pretty good until they came back, got two quick ones to tie the game, and had all the energy going their way. They were hungry and outworked us.”
However, St. Lawrence re-established the two-goal lead late in the period while RIT was on another power play. The referee signaled a delayed call for RIT playing the puck with a high stick. The Tigers hesitated, and Adam Hogg pounced on the puck. Hogg carried it across the slot and wristed the puck through a crowd of legs. Guimond never had a chance, nor saw the puck, and Hogg scored the shorthanded goal at 18:14 to give St. Lawrence the 3-1 lead.
For the first time this weekend, RIT held a territorial advantage for the first ten minutes of the second period. The Tigers took advantage of the pressure and scored two quick even-strength goals to tie the game 3-3.
Darrell Draper scored the Tigers second goal at 4:33 after swatting home a rebound dropped right at his feet near the top of the crease.
Brennan Sarazin tallied RIT’s third goal of the game at 5:58 on a great singular effort. Sarazin stole the puck from a Saints player deep in the St. Lawrence zone, turned and wristed the puck past a surprised Saints netminder Justin Pesony for the goal. RIT outshot St. Lawrence 8-1 during this span.
However, St. Lawrence regained the momentum during the latter half of the second period when Mike Zbriger deflected a blast by Jared Ross from the point past Guimond at 10:55.
This goal came off only the Saints’ second shot of the period. St. Lawrence would reestablish dominance on the shot clock during the second half of the period, outshooting RIT 9-4 during that span.
St. Lawrence took its third two-goal lead at 17:42, 5-3, when DeVergilio worked around two RIT defensemen before backhanding the puck high over Guimond’s shoulder for his second goal of the game.
“Our focus wasn’t quite there tonight,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “Some of our guys were pretty tired after last night. We have to learn that there is 120 minutes in a weekend.”
The Saints dominated play territorially during the opening ten minutes of the third period. RIT didn’t garner its first shot on goal until the 9:50 mark, while St. Lawrence ticked off nine shots during that same period.
St. Lawrence added to its lead just after an RIT power play ended at 12:31. Hogg tried to chip the puck in the net from a very tight angle, but the puck dropped down just outside the goal line. Jamie Parker swatted home the loose puck before Guimond could jump on it and scored the goal to give St. Lawrence a 6-3 lead.
The intensity went out of the building following the Saint’s sixth goal, and the play during the remainder of the period was relatively uninspired.