Power-Play Goals Help Union Edge Saints

Power-Play Goals Help Union Edge Saints

Two third period goals from Union snapped a 3-3 tie and helped the Dutchmen edge the St. Lawrence men's hockey team 5-4 on Saturday night at Messa Rink in Schenectady, New York.

The Saints saw Michael Laidley score his first goal of the season, Carson Gicewicz tallied one on the power play and Philip Alftberg and Mike Marnell also found the back of the net in the loss. Arthur Brey, making his first start since Dec. 9 against Clarkson in Appleton Arena, stopped a season-high 41 for St. Lawrence.

Union finished with three power play goals in the game, including a 5-on-3 tally in the third period that put the Dutchmen in front for good in the third period.  

It was the Saints that struck first, though, opening up a 2-0 lead midway through the first period.

On the team's first power play of the game, Carson Gicewicz deflected a shot from the right circle by Ryan Loughin the slot and beat Union's Jake Kupsky along the ice for a 1-0 St. Lawrence lead.

Less than two minutes later Jake Stevens fed Marnell for a partial breakaway on the left wing, but the Saints senior winger opted for a drop pass to Laidley in the high slot who ripped a one-timer past Kupsky to extend the lead to 2-0 at 11:04. It was his first goal since Oct. 15, 2016 against Merrimack.

However, later in the frame, Union scored two goals in 13 seconds, with the first coming on the power play, to tie the game at 2-2 heading into the first intermission.

Val Kolias beat Brey on the back door for the first, finishing a cross-crease pass from Liam Morgan to cut the deficit to one. Union then won the ensuing draw and moved back into the St. Lawrence zone, where Anthony Rinadli buried a loose puck on the doorstep for his 12th of the year and a 2-2 game at the 15:47 mark.

Union took its first lead of the game just 1:03 into the middle frame with the second of three power play goals, this one from Cole Maier.

Not long after, the Saints tied it up with Philip Alftberg's third of the year on a bomb of a one-timer from the left point. It was an all-rookie scoring line with Callum Cusinato and Jacob Nielsen earning assists on the play, giving Nielsen the first point of his collegiate career.

Early in the third period, two quick penalties to Dylan Woolf and Joe Sullivan gave Union 1:40 with a two-man advantage. Brandon Estes put Union in front 4-3 with a shot from the left dot that rang off the far post and hit the crossbar before falling behind Brey at 5:12.

Shortly after the Saints had killed off the remainder of Sullivan's penalty, Luc Brown tallied the eventual game winner for the Dutchmen at the 6:59 mark.

But the Saints weren't done yet. At 8:35 of the third, Marnell bested Kupsky with a no-look backhand from the bottom of the right circle after Jacob Pritchard had caused a turnover below the red line to cut the deficit to one at 5-4.

St. Lawrence continued to pressure in the final minutes, including 1:59 with the extra attacker after Brey went to the bench, but the Dutchmen blocked two shots, Kupsky made one save and the Saints sent four just wide of the net during that stretch.

With the loss, the Saints fall to 4-16-2 overall and are still looking for their first conference win at 0-9-1. Meanwhile, Union improves to .500 at 12-12-1 with an 8-4-0 record against ECAC Hockey teams.

The Saints were outshot 46-28 on Saturday night and finished 1-4 on the power play. Union went 3-6 with the man advantage and Kupsky finished with 24 saves.

The Saints will return home to Appleton Arena to host Dartmouth and Harvard next weekend on Jan. 19 and 20. Both games are set for 7 p.m.