ALBANY, N.Y. — Once again, Union had plenty of chances to score.
And, once again, the combination of a hot goalie and some misfires stopped the Dutchmen.
John Hallas, a graduate student starting only the second game of his collegiate career, made 20 saves in backstopping No. 15 St. Lawrence to a 4-0 victory over Union in the Governor’s Cup consolation game Saturday at the Times Union Center. Hallas was brilliant, and the Dutchmen were their own worst enemy.
“We’re so snake-bitten right now,” Union coach Nate Leaman said. “It’ll come, if we keep working. We’ve got to be a little more desperate around the net. We had three or four guys wide open at the net. Give their goalie credit; he made the saves.”
Hallas, who didn’t even dress for Friday’s semifinal against Colgate, had his only other start Feb. 4, 2006, against Quinnipiac, making 20 saves in a 3-1 loss; the third goal was an empty-netter.
He didn’t find out he was starting against the Dutchmen until the team brunch.
“It feels great,” Hallas said about getting the shutout. “It’s been a while coming. I’ve been working hard. The team made it easy for me. We played a great game, and had solid defense. I just had to make the easy saves.”
Shortly after Casey Parenteau gave the Saints a 1-0 lead 1:09 into the game, Hallas protected the advantage when he stopped Jason Walters’ redirection of a Torren Delforte pass from the left wing on a two-on-one rush.
“Torren made a great play,” Walters said. “You’ve got to give it to [Hallas], he made a good save there. I thought I had him beat. I thought I had it high enough.”
Later in the period, Stephane Boileau was alone on the doorstep and tried to beat Hallas high over the left shoulder, but Hallas got his glove on it.
“He came to play tonight,” Walters said. “He made some big saves.”
Union’s power play struggled again. After an 0-for-5 effort against RPI, the Dutchmen went 0-for-7 against the Saints, and had just seven shots on goal on those chances. During a Union two-man advantage in the second period, St. Lawrence’s Jeremiah Cunningham took advantage of some tentative play and went in on a breakaway, but goalie Corey Milan made the save.
“I think we’re thinking too much instead of keeping it simple,” Leaman said. “I thought we did that all night tonight. We were handling it, and handling it, and handling it and overthinking instead of just keeping it real simple.”
The Saints put the game away with a three-goal third period. Kevin DeVergilio and Matt Raley scored even-strength goals 3:37 apart midway through the third, and Zach Miskovic added a power-play goal late in the game.
Ken Schott covers college hockey for the The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.