It took St. Lawrence University's hockey team almost a half game to find its sea legs after a 24-day stretch without a game, and the University of Vermont took advantage, skating to a 3-0 lead and then holding off the Saints for a 4-2 win at Appleton Arena Tuesday night.
The Catamounts, ranked 18th nationally, received goals from four different players and handed the Saints their fifth straight loss. UVM is now 11-6-3 on the season while the Saints fell to 8-10-2 and face another gap in the schedule with 10 days before a home league series with Brown and Yale.
While Vermont outshot the Saints 17-3 in the first period, they came out of the first 20 minutes leading only 1-0 as Saint sophomore goalie Kyle MacDonald, who was making his first career start, had a spectacular debut. Connor Brickley scored the lone UVM goal on a goal-mouth tip of a shot by defenseman Nick Bruneteau at 9:20.
The Catamounts scored just five seconds into a second period power play, Colin Markinson scoring from point blank range right after a faceoff win in the Saint end at 6:32 and defenseman Nick Luukko made it a 3-0 game at 12:39 when he took a pass from Tom Forgione and one-timed a shot past MacDonald for his second of the year.
The Saints battled back, scoring a power play goal at 17:17 of the second when Brian Ward took a pass from freshman Drew Smolcynski and tucked the puck past UVM goalie Brody Hoffman to make it a 3-1 game and SLU senior Greg Carey scored his 14th of the year just 1:45 later, ripping a wrist shot off the post and in for his 80th career goal to make it a 3-2 game at 19:02.
Carey's goal extended his scoring streak to 15 games and tied Andy Pritchard for fourth on the all-time Saint goal list. The Saint Hobey Baker hopeful now has 165 career points, eighth all time and two points short of a tie for seventh with Terry Slater.
SLU comeback hopes were dampened 1:30 into the second when a Saint defenseman fell and sophomore center Jon Turk skated in on MacDonald, scoring his second of the year on the breakaway. Both of Turk's goals have come against the Saints this season.
While SLU created some opportunities in the third, Hoffman made 13 of his 22 saves to prevent further scoring and the Catamounts completed a season sweep of two games against the Saints. MacDonald finished with 30 saves for SLU.