CANTON, N.Y. — A St. Lawrence record-tying four-goal performance by freshman Carson Duggan was more than enough offense as the Saints picked up where they left off Friday with a 7-0 drubbing of Union.
Duggan wasted no time getting St. Lawrence (14-1-2, 5-1-2 ECACHL) on the board as she tallied her first marker a mere 1:12 into the first period, after receiving a backdoor feed from Sabrina Harbec, beating Union (2-10, 0-8) goaltender Alex Zirbel.
It was like deja vu on the next shift for the Saints top line when Harbec and Duggan combined on another backdoor play that mirrored the first identically, only 3:48 into the first.
“It’s more just being in the right place at the right time, I have to give lots of credit to Sab and Lisa, they both open the ice up so much and they make everyone they play with better,” Duggan said.
The Saints pushed the lead to three goals, with 2:46 left to play in the first, when Harbec flew into the zone and beat Zirbel glove side after receiving the puck from Kerri Wallace on an excellent one handed pass in the neutral zone.
Duggan finished off her hat trick 5:46 into the second period, at the backdoor yet again, as a Harbec shot left a loose puck just outside the crease, Duggan laid out diving and flicked the puck into the back of the net, notching her second hat trick of her freshman season.
“That’s her cup of tea, she is a garbage picker,” Flanagan said. “She has a real quick release and just has a knack of knowing where to be. It’s an innate ability that you cannot teach.”
However, Duggan wasn’t done quite yet, two minutes into the third period she tied the school record for goals in a game with four, by putting away a rebound on an Abbie Bullard shot from the point. The four goal outburst puts Duggan in rather select company including the likes of recent graduate Gina Kingsbury as only two of four Saints to ever accomplish such a feat. She has a nation-leading 17 goals this season.
“90 percent of my goals are within 5-feet of the net, I just put away the garbage” said Duggan.
The third period scoring was finished off by Casey Hughes and Alison Domenico.
“I feel for their team, it’s a long season and they know they have a long way to come, but Tim will do a good job with them,” Flanagan said.
For the second game in a row, the Saints fired 56 shots on net. Zirbel made 49 saves in the losing effort for the Dutchwomen. Meaghan Guckian and Kaitlin Branon teamed up for the 12 save shutout for the Saints, the sixth time all season the Saints have blanked an opponent.
“This weekend’s results put an asterisks on a great semester, we’ve had a great run the second semester the past two years, which have gotten us back into things, but this is the best first semester our team has had since I have been here and it was done predominantly on the road,” Flanagan said. “I wouldn’t put a letter grade on our performance, but I would give the girls real high marks, for our team to be 14-1-2 and tied for the league lead at this point in the season.”
With the victory the Saints move into a tie atop the ECACHL standings with rival Clarkson, at the halfway point in league play. With all of the contenders so close in the standings with eight games to go, and the fact the regular season winner gets to host the playoffs should foster a dramatic finish down the stretch.
“Home ice is certainly something you shoot for, but I am not going to put the cart ahead of the horse, we realize you just have to keep winning games, all but the Niagara games down the stretch are league games where two points are on the line each night,” Flanagan said. “Lots of teams are vying for the home ice and it’s going to be a battle. Harvard has the ability to come back and win the league, but coming back in January in good position is all you can ask for.”
The Saints will now enjoy a well deserved four week break, before they regroup and prepare for the second half of their season which begins with two games against St. Cloud State on January 6 and 7 at home.