Saints men's hockey wins Catamount Cup with shutout of UMass Lowell
For the first time this season the St. Lawrence men's hockey team swept a weekend series after shutting out UMass Lowell, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon to win the Catamount Cup at the University of Vermont.
Daniel Mannella was stellar in between the pipes for the Saints once again, making 35 saves en route to the first shutout of his career and was named the tournament's most valuable player. The Saints were also outstanding on special teams on Saturday afternoon, scoring a shorthanded goal and a power play goal while also going 7-for-7 on the penalty kill, including a five-minute major in the second period.With the win, St. Lawrence avenged an earlier 5-0 loss to the River Hawks at Appleton Arena in October, and improve to 3-14-1 overall. Lowell, which entered the weekend receiving votes in the USCHO.com national poll, drops to 10-9-0 on the year. The win is also the first time St. Lawrence has beaten UMass Lowell since the 2005-06 season.
Midway through the first period, senior Joe Sullivan put the Saints in front 1-0 with his second shorthanded goal of the season off a feed from Mike Marnell from below the red line at the 9:43 mark.
Marnell was aggressive on the forecheck and pinned UMass Lowell deep in their own zone before stealing the puck on the end boards and hitting a wide-open Sullivan in the slot. The Las Vegas, Nevada native beat netminder Christoffer Hernberg high on the glove side for his seventh goal of the year.
Early in the second, the Saints' Dylan Woolf was assessed a major penalty setting up a five-minute power play for UMass Lowell. St. Lawrence successfully killed it off; with Mannella making five of his 14 saves in the middle frame during that Lowell power play, and the Saints gained serious momentum heading into the latter half of the period.
With time winding down in the frame, Marnell and Philip Alftberg each scored their second goals of the weekend less than two minutes apart to extend the Saints' lead to the eventual 3-0 margin.
With the Saints on the power play, Marnell beat Hernberg with a wrister that snuck under his blocker on the near side to make it 2-0 with Nolan Gluchowski and Michael Ederer assisting at 17:07.
Then, at the 18:45 mark, Alftberg collected a rebound in the slot and ripped a shot into the top of the night for his second in as many games. Hernberg initially stopped shots from Alex Gilmour and Keenan Suthers, both of whom assisted on the play, but couldn't control the rebound, which allowed Alftberg an opportunity for the Saints' third goal.
Mannella made 12 saves in the final 20 minutes to keep the River Hawks off the board and the Saints weathered the final 2:06 after Lowell pulled Hernberg for the extra attacker to help preserve the shutout.
The River Hawks finished with a 35-28 edge in shots on goal.
The Saints will finish out their non-conference schedule with a two-game set against Canisius at home in Appleton Arena on Jan. 5-6.