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Saints Split, Earn First Round Bye

Written by Andy Camarra

Photo Via Jack Lyons ’17

Numerous things happened at Appleton Arena this weekend. The Skating Saints earned a first round bye in the ECAC Playoffs, there was a Senior Night Ceremony on Saturday, and longtime Director of Athletic Media Relations Wally Johnson was recognized for his 40 years of service to the Men’s Hockey program.

Coming into the final weekend of regular season play, the Saints (17-13-4) were looking to secure a top four spot in the ECAC standings. Beating the Big Green of Dartmouth on Friday night 5-2 was the start. After being down early, the Saints scored five unanswered goals to win the game. The Saints, who were in fourth place, needed some help around the league to clinch the final spot for the bye. With Cornell, RPI, and Harvard all losing, and the win against Dartmouth, the Saints snagged that final first round bye slot. On the final day of the regular season, the Saints looked to keep the momentum against Harvard.

Saturday night’s game against the Crimson was a battle for third place in the standings, and was also Senior Night for seven Saints players who wanted to end their regular season play with a win. The Crimson got on the board first 4:48 into the first period connecting on the power play. Saints player, Woody Hudson, got sent to the box for elbowing 2:49 into the game. Harvard had some chances in the first minute of the man-up advantage, but could not get anything through goalie Kyle Hayton and the Saints penalty killers. After the Saints cleared the puck a couple of times, the Crimson’s Lewis Zerter-Gossage connected on a pass from Seb Lloyd with one second left on the penalty. The Saints applied pressure for the remainder of the period, but went into the locker room down 1-0.

The Crimson scored the second goal of the game 7:07 into the second period. Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey scored his 21st goal of the year just inside the blue line, getting the puck past a screened Hayton. The Saints came r o a r i n g back and were awarded a power play with a little over six minutes left to play in the second period. Harvard’s Luke Esposito got sent off for slashing, and the Saints took advantage. Saint’s Nolan Gluchowski ‘18 rang a shot off the post, which had the fans buzzing. Then Jacob Pritchard ‘19 got the puck in the slot and back handed the puck on net. It deflected off Crimson’s goalie Merrick Madsen, and then trickled across the line.

The third period came along and St. Lawrence still found themselves down one. They put together a couple good chances early in the period, but were set back when Hudson got a five minute major and game misconduct penalty for hitting from behind 5:36 into the final frame. The Saints penalty killers held the Crimson power play in check for most of the penalty and were awarded a penalty shot late in the penalty. Saint’s Captain Brian Ward ‘15 stole the puck and was on a breakaway when a Harvard player hooked him from behind, giving Ward a penalty shot. Ward missed the penalty shot and the Saints killed off the rest of the penalty. The last best chance the Saints had to tying the game was on a five on three, but the Crimson killed that off. Harvard put two more pucks in the net and left Canton with a 4-1 victory.

For the Saints, Saturday night was not their last game at Appleton Arena. With the first round bye, they will play Clarkson or the next highest remaining seed March 11-13th at home, looking to head back to Lake Placid for the second year in a row.

About the author

Andy Camarra