CANTON, N.Y. — Junior defenseman Matt Generous snapped a 1-1 tie with a goal from the blue line and junior wing Casey Parenteau scored just under two minutes later to cushion the lead as St. Lawrence skated to a 4-1 NCAA victory over Providence Friday night.
The Saints, now 2-0, added an empty-net goal to hand the Friars the loss in Providence’s first official game of the year.
The two teams combined for 78 shots in a wide-open end-to-end affair which included just five total penalties between the two teams. Senior goaltender Justin Pesony made 34 saves to pick up the victory in his first start since November 2006.
“Justin played an outstanding game and I know the whole locker room is very happy for him,” said SLU head coach Joe Marsh. “He has handled the whole thing of going from the starter to a backup extremely well and has been a huge positive influence on the team over the last two seasons. We know we have three quality goaltenders and we are going to try to get them all playing time early in the season.”
Providence took the early lead just as a Friar power play expired, as goaltender Sims caught the Saints making a change of penalty killers and sent a long pass ahead to Matt Germain. Germain fed Pierce Norton, who walked in and tucked the puck around Pesony at 6:18 for the 1-0 lead.
It was the only shot to get past the Saint captain, who set a record for appearances as a sophomore, but played in only six games as a junior as then-freshman Alex Petizian emerged as the starter in the second half of last season.
The Saints tied it at 8:41 when sophomore Jeremiah Cunningham tipped a pass by senior wing Charlie Giffin out of the air and past Sims for his first of the year, with Jordan Hack also assisting. SLU appeared to have taken the lead when Kevin DeVergilio put a shot into the upper corner of the net, causing the goal light to flash, but the goal was waved off.
SLU took the lead 8:23 into the third period off a faceoff win in the Providence end. Junior center Brock McBride won the faceoff and Kevin DeVergilio tapped the puck back to Generous at the point. Generous fired the puck along the ice and inside the far post on a screened Sims to make it 2-1.
“Providence blocked a lot of shots, but we kept on working and were able to get some looks and create some space,” said Marsh. “It was another pretty well-played game for so early in the season. I thought both teams had some excellent scoring chances and both played pretty well defensively in front of their goaltenders despite the high number of shots. It was a good end-to-end game.”
Junior defenseman Shawn Fensel started the play which gave the Saints a two-goal cushion as he blocked a Providence shot and sent the puck ahead to sophomore Sean Flanagan. Flanagan in turn fed Parenteau, who walked in on Sims all alone and tucked the puck past him at 10:12 for his second goal of the season.
Fensel and Alex Curran set up senior forward Charlie Giffin for an easy empty-net tap-in at 19:22 to complete the scoring.
Sims finished with 39 saves for the Friars, who have not won a road opener since 1994.