A nearly flawless special teams performance and a 24-save shutout by junior goaltender Robby Moss lifted St. Lawrence University's men's hockey team to a 4-0 win at Colgate Friday night, snapping a seven-game ECAC winless streak for the Saints.
Senior Nick Pitsikoulis scored two goals, George Hughes had a goal and an assist as the Saints went three for five on the power play and killed off five Colgate power play chances. The Saints improve to 8-13-5 overall and 4-9-1 in league play heading into game two of the weekend road trip at Cornell on Saturday. Colgate, which lost its eighth straight to St. Lawrence, is 3-22-2 overall and 0-13-2 in the league.
"It was a complete effort," said associate head coach Bob Prier, who was again filling in for ailing head coach Joe Marsh. "We played with a lot of confidence, particularly after getting the early lead, and our penalty killing was superb. It was also great to see Nick Pitsikoulis step up and have another big night offensively...he has been playing very well over the last several games.
The Saints had some golden scoring chances early in the game which came up empty, but then cashed in twice within a span of 1:05 in the final three minutes of the first period to take a 2-0 lead.
Kyle Flanagan opened the scoring with just three seconds to go in the first Saint power play opportunity of the game as he picked up a rebound of a shot from the point by defenseman George Hughes and gunned it back into the open side of the net after the initial save by Colgate freshman goalie Eric Mihalik.
Nick Pitsikoulis then gave the Saints their two-goal cushion as he picked the puck up deep in the Colgate end, skated up the side boards and flipped a shot from just short of the blue line which beat Mihalik under the crossbar for Pitsikoulis' sixth goal of the year, unassisted at 18:05.
The Saints made it a perfect two-for-two on the power play at 8:17 of the second for the only goal of the period and a 3-0 lead. Hughes took the shot from the deep center point with Aaron Bogosian screening in front and hit the upper corner for his fourth of the season with Pat Raley and Greg Carey assisting.
Pitsikoulis scored his second of the night and seventh of the season on a power play at 18:10 of the third period to complete the scoring. It took the Saints just five seconds to score on the power play as Jacob Drewiske won the draw back to Bob Torney at the point, Torney relayed the puck to Jared Keller, who passed from dot to dot to Pitsikoulis who one-timed the pass into the net.
Moss, who earned his first career shutout with 24 saves, made 10 of them in the third period while Mihalik had 22 saves as the Saints had a 26-24 overall advantage in shots on goal
"That's two outstanding games in a row for Robby Moss," said Prier. "He made some big saves early in the game and came out and challenged their shooters."