CANTON, N.Y. — Senior wing John Zeiler scored on a power play with 1:56 to go in overtime to lift St. Lawrence University to a 6-5 ECAC Hockey League victory over Quinnipiac in a see-saw game at Appleton Arena Friday night.
The Saints, now 8-3-0 overall and 4-1-1 in the ECACHL, won their fifth straight at home this season, but had to work for it as Quinnipiac came from behind to take a lead, fell behind in the third period and eventually tied it with an extra attacker and 40 seconds to play in regulation. The Bobcats lost their third in a row after an 8-2-0 start to the season and are 8-5-0 overall and 2-3-0 in the ECACHL.
St. Lawrence kept the puck in the Quinnipiac end for most of the first three minutes of the game, but the Bobcats scored the game’s first goal after a Saint turnover. Jamie Bates walked in on Saint goaltender Justin Pesony and scored his seventh of the season at 3:31 for the early lead.
The Saints tied it when junior center Max Taylor stole the puck on a Bobcat power play and drove in all alone on Quinnipiac goalie Bud Fisher, scoring his second of the year at 7:51. SLU then took the lead late in the first, scoring twice on a major power play. Mike Zbriger got the first on a stuff shot from the side of the net at 16:57, and T.J. Trevleyan tipped a Matt Generous shot from the point past Fisher at 18:30 for his second of the year and a 3-1 Saint lead after one.
The Bobcats battled back in the second period. The Saints had a chance to put Quinnipiac away, holding a 3-1 lead and going on a five-on-three power play. The Bobcats killed the first penalty and scored to make it 3-2 when Brian Leitch stepped out of the penalty box, took a long lead pass from Reid Cashman and broke in on Saint goalie Justin Pesony. Pesony made a diving stop on the first shot by Leitch, but the Bobcat freshman put his own rebound back into the net.
“That was a big momentum swing,” said Saint coach Joe Marsh. “We were dominating play, but weren’t as sharp as we had been on the five-on-three. It was a good play on Quinnipiac’s part and it definitely got them back in the game.”
Matt Sorteberg tied the game, 3-3, at 15:01 with his fourth of the year on a bomb from the point.
Mark Agnew scored Quinnipiac’s second shorthanded goal of the night 7:28 into the third period to give the Bobcats a 4-3 lead, but the Saints tied it when Kyle Rank pounced on a loose puck at the side of the Bobcat cage and tucked it in for his sixth of the year at 13:35. Zeiler then gave the Saints a 5-4 lead with his fifth of the season at 16:02, but the Bobcats knotted the score once again when Ben Nelson scored his fifth of the year, picking up a rebound off the post with 40 seconds to go.
The Saints pressured early in the overtime and were on the power play after a Saint player was cross checked into the goal with 2:23 to go in the game. Zeiler cashed in 41 seconds later as he redirected a shot by Trevleyan past Fisher for the game winner.
Fisher finished with 31 saves for the Bobcats while Pesony won his eighth of the year with a 19 save performance.
“The game was an emotional rollercoaster for both teams,” said Marsh. “We did a pretty good job in special teams, although we did give up the two shorthanded goals. I thought Zeiler, Trevelyan and Zbriger had a real big night for us, and they did some things that don’t show up on the scoresheet.”
“You’ve got to give Quinnipiac a lot of credit for battling back. They are a real solid club and are going to do well in the league.”