SLU Skaters Fall To Mercyhurst In Overtime
Zach Risteau and Keenan Suthers each finished with a goal and an assist for the St. Lawrence University men's hockey team to help the Saints' force overtime in their season opener on Friday night, but Mercyhurst scored just over a minute into the extra frame en route to a 3-2 win at the Mercyhurst Ice Center in Erie, Pa.
"We worked hard," head coach Brent Brekke said. "A lot of stuff to continue to clean up but the energy level and the positivity were there, the guys played hard for each other and I was pleased with it."
Mercyhurst struck first just 30 seconds into the game with a power play goal as Dalton Hunter stuck with the play and tucked the loose puck from behind netminder Emil Zetterquist's pads for a 1-0 lead.
Zetterquist made the initial stop and thought he had squeezed it, but Hunter played through with no whistle for the first goal of the game.
Later in the opening frame, Suthers made a play on the half wall and sent a cross-ice pass to Risteau for a redirect off the far post and in for the Saints' first goal of the season to make it a 1-1 game.
Jeff Clarke also assisted on the Risteau goal to pick up his first collegiate point.
Another early goal in the second put the Lakers in front yet again, as Gueorgui Feduolov buried a rebound from just outside the blue paint at the 1:54 mark to make it 2-1 in favor of the home team.
In the third period, it was the Saints who scored early as Suthers buried a one-timer from the right circle on the power play to tie the game at 2-2.
"I thought they continued to go after it," Brekke said. "We got on our heels in both periods – the first and second - where we gave up a goal right away 30 seconds in and then to start the second period less than two minutes in. One thing we talked about before the game is that momentum is always going to be something we really stress – when you give momentum up, how quickly you get it back. The guys could have easily got on their heels in the first 30 seconds of the game, and they parked it quickly and battled back and competed."
The Saints were dominant in the third with a 14-3 shot advantage through the final 20 minutes of regulation, and finished with a 38-21 edge in shots on goal in the game.
But in overtime, it was an odd-man rush after the Saints got caught too far down the wall on a pinch from the blue line that helped the Lakers to the win on the Steven Ipri tally.
It is the first loss in overtime for the Saints since February 2, 2018 at Princeton, as the team went 2-0-2 in overtime games during the 2018-19 season.
Garrett Metcalf finished with 36 saves for the Lakers, while Zetterquist stopped 18 for St. Lawrence.
Both teams went 1-for-3 with the man advantage on Friday night.
With the loss, the Saints start the season 0-1-0. Mercyhurst improves to 2-1-0 after a season-opening split at Arizona State last weekend.
The teams will return to the Mercyhurst Ice Center for the final game of this two-game series on Saturday night. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m.