CANTON, N.Y. — Freshman defenseman Joe Charlebois was credited with a controversial game winning goal with 2:46 to play as the University of New Hampshire turned back St. Lawrence University 4-3 Saturday night.
No. 10 UNH snapped a four-game winless streak when the puck bounced off the crossbar, hit Saint goalie Justin Pesony in the back and fell into the net. The Saints argued vehemently that the puck was hit with a high stick, which would have negated the goal, but officials allowed the goal to stand and Charlebois, who grew up ten miles away from the SLU campus in Potsdam, was awarded the goal as the last UNH player to touch the puck.
UNH improved to 8-5-3 overall while the No. 12 Saints fall to 11-5-0 in a game in which they led by two goals after one, fell behind by a goal after two, and scored the tying goal 13 seconds into the third period.
“It was a tough one to lose, but it was a pretty good hockey game,” said Saint coach Joe Marsh. “That first line of UNH is tremendous and they really hurt us with odd man rushes in the second period. I am pleased with the way we recovered and TJ and Kevin DeVergilio made a great play to pull us even off the third period faceoff.”
Saint defenseman Mike Madill opened the scoring when he picked the puck up at the UNH blue line and broke in on goal, trying a wrap-around. While Wildcat goalie Jeff Pietrasiak was able to stop the initial shot, Madill picked up his own rebound and put it back past the goalie at 12:00 for the 1-0 lead. It went to 2-0 just 2:53 later as John Zeiler tapped the puck ahead to senior wing T.J. Trevelyan and Trevelyan scored his third of the weekend and fifth of the year on a power play.
The Wildcats’ top line of left wing Jacob Mcflikier, center Daniel Winnik and right wing Brett Hemingway, which had combined for 22 goals coming into the game, got things rolling in the second period and put UNH in front 3-2.
Winnik scored the first goal on a two-on-one after a Saint defenseman fell down at center ice, netting his eighth of the year just 49 seconds into the period.
Hemingway scored his tenth at 5:41 on a power play as Mcflikier held the puck until Saint goalie Justin Pesony committed and then fed Hemingway at the side of the net. Mcflikier then joined the goal parade at 17:02 and put the Wildcats in front as he tipped a shot from the center slot by defenseman Brian Yandle for his seventh of the season.
Trevelyan set up freshman Kevin DeVergilio for the tying goal off the opening face off of the third period. Trevelyan pulled Pietrasiak toward him and fed DeVergilio, who buried his eighth of the year into the empty side of the net just 13 seconds into the period.
SLU had chances to pull back even with a power play in the final minute and pulled the goalie for an extra attacker. One shot went off a stick in front and just over the crossbar and another went just wide in the final 15 seconds of the game.
Pietrasiak finished with 38 saves for UNH while Pesony made 32 saves for the Saints.
“We had a pretty good homestand and we’ve got three very tough road games coming up before the holidays. We want to just keep building on what we have established so far and get some of our walking wounded back into action,” Marsh added.