CANTON, N.Y. — Rookies Casey Parenteau and Mike McKenzie combined for five goals as St. Lawrence opened its best-of-three ECACHL quarterfinal series against Colgate with a 6-1 win in Game 1 at Appleton Arena on Friday night.
The victory was the 400th career win for Saint head coach Joe Marsh, who becomes just the third Division I coach in history to win 400 or more all at the same institution. It also moved the Saints, the 2007 ECACHL regular-season champions, one step closer to their first trip to Albany and next week’s ECACHL semifinals and finals.
Colgate was without star goaltender Mark Dekanich, who sustained an injury in practice during the week and did not dress for the game. Colgate coach Don Vaughan termed the injury game-to-game and Dekanich, who has played 92.7 percent of Colgate’s minutes in goal this season, is questionable for Saturday’s Game 2.
The Saints improved to 21-12-3 overall, scoring six straight and dominating play after Colgate had taken a lead just 1:37 into the game. The Raiders, now 15-20-4, will try to force a third game on Sunday when the two teams meet again Saturday night.
“We fully expect a real battle on Saturday,” said Marsh. “Its great to win the first one, but you need two to advance and Colgate is a good team which certainly can bounce back from a game like tonight’s.”
Colgate jumped out to the early lead when senior wing Marc Fulton got a step on a Saint defender and broke in on SLU goaltender Alex Petizian. While Petizian stopped the initial shot, freshman Jason Williams put the rebound away for his fifth of the year just 1:37 into the game.
Parenteau, a sophomore who started his collegiate career at Division III St. John’s in Minnesota, scored his first Division I hat trick and McKenzie, playing his first game after missing eight with an injury, scored two goals and assisted on a third. Included among McKenzie’s goals was his sixth game-winner of the season, a St. Lawrence record.
“One of the things that has characterized this year’s team is that someone different seems to step up almost every game. You really can’t focus on any one guy or one line, because we have four lines which are all capable of scoring,” said Marsh. “It didn’t start the way we wanted it to, but it ended well.”
The Saints got back into it on the power play, tying the game at 3:41 as Parenteau scored his fourth of the season on a scramble in front of goalie Charles Long.
Long, a freshman making his first start since November, was burned by McKenzie, who took the puck from Kyle Rank behind the Saint net and banked it into the goal off the back of Long’s pads for a 2-1 lead at 11:10. Rank had two assists in the game and now has 98 career points heading into Saturday.
Parenteau scored his second of the night at 13:04 to give the Saints a 3-1 lead as Long knocked down a centering pass, but the puck went directly to Parenteau, who hit a wide-open net.
The Saints made it a 4-1 game and chased Long just 47 seconds into the second period as Kevin DeVergilio sped into the Colgate zone and put a shot on net. Long kicked it out, but DeVergilio put his own rebound back into the cage for his seventh of the season.
SLU cashed in with two power-play goals on a five-on-three power play against Raider replacement goalie Justin Kowalkoski. McKenzie scored his second of the night from right beside the post at 12:06 with the two-man advantage and Parenteau completed his hat trick with a goal tucked in at the right post just 43 seconds later for a 6-1 lead.
Petizian won his 17th of the year, making 21 saves while Long had nine and Kowalkoski 13 for the Raiders.