In their first meeting this season, the St. Lawrence Saints cruised past the Colgate Raiders 5-2. The win marked the Saints’ first regular season win at Starr Rink since 2001. The Raiders had won five of the teams’ last six meetings.
St. Lawrence got out to a quick start in the first period, dominating the first minutes of play decisively. The Raiders were at first seemingly taken off guard by the speed and ferocity of the St Lawrence offense.
“They outworked us, they did a great job getting there,” Colgate coach Don Vaughan said of the St. Lawrence offense. His comments were appropriate, given that St. Lawrence scored all five of its goals through constant traffic in front of the Colgate crease, and that the Saints relentlessly crashed the net.
The Saints put up their first goal 5:42 into the game, with a slap shot from the point by Matt Generous going by Colgate goalie Alex Evin through a screen in front of the net.
The Raiders were unable to gain an offensive foothold for most of the first period, not posting their first shot until more than nine minutes had passed. The Raiders finally escaped their rut by capitalizing on a power play with a wrist shot from the point by Nick St. Pierre, deflected in by Brian Day.
Although the Raiders carried their offensive momentum into the second period after tying it up in the first, they were unable to finish on several opportunities early on. St. Lawrence quickly came back from a penalty kill to net a second goal with a wrist shot on their own man-advantage. Freshmen Mark Armstrong recorded his first career goal with the shot.
“That goal by Armstrong was a huge goal,” St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh said. “It was a real boost for the team.”
While Colgate had its fair share of opportunities, St. Lawrence kept control of the offense for most of the game.
“They got some pretty exciting plays,” Marsh commented. “But I thought we had some pretty good energy. We were able to stay fresh and maintain that same pace pretty well.”
“You have to give St. Lawrence a lot of credit [on the offense],” Vaughan noted. “We didn’t have an answer for them. We’ve been able to respond all year long but we didn’t have it, and we got exactly what we deserved.”
As fast and intense as play was during the first period, it paled into comparison to the battle of the second period. St. Lawrence took advantage of traffic in front of the Colgate net to put in a total of four more shots, bringing the score to 5-1.
Their fourth goal proved particularly contentious, with Saints’ player Casey Parenteau jamming the puck into the net in the midst of a scrum in front of the Raiders’ net. The goal was shortly followed by pushing and shoving, escalating into a full-blown fight, as Colgate defender Corbin McPherson dropped the gloves, bringing fellow Raider Austin Smith into the fray against St. Lawrence players Matt Generous and Mike McKenzie. All four were given two minutes for roughing and ten-minute game misconducts.
“I’ll have to look at it a bit more closely later,” Marsh said of the altercation. “I didn’t get a real good look. But we obviously focus on not retaliating. The penalties had been hurting us.”
After a vigorous second period, the Raiders kept the Saint silent for the remaineder of the game, netting their own power-play goal in the third. Both of the Raider’s goals were scored on the power play, where they were generally dominant.
“We moved it around a bit better [on the power play],” Vaughan admitted. “But it doesn’t matter much if you’re not willing to pay the price five-on-five. They out-played us in every area of the game tonight.”
Pleased with the Saints’ play, Marsh looked ahead optimistically to the team’s upcoming game against Cornell.
“When we play Cornell, we always have great games,” he commented. “Even when we lose.”
Both teams go on to play on Saturday. St. Lawrence faces Cornell at Lynah Rink at 7:00 p.m., and Colgate will host Clarkson at 3:00 p.m.