Junior goaltender Kevin Ackley made 26 saves including one on a breakaway with under ten minutes to play in the game and sophomore wing T.J. Trevelyan capped a six-point weekend with the game winning goal as St. Lawrence University upset fifth-ranked New Hampshire for the second straight year 3-2 at Appleton Arena Saturday night.
Ackley made 48 saves a year ago when the Saints stunned then second-ranked UNH 4-2 in Durham, and while he had an easier time Saturday, he needed to stop Nathan Martz on a breakaway with 9:42 to play to protect the Saint win. SLU improved to 5-10-3 overall with a sweep of its weekend series while New Hampshire, which split its games with a win at Clarkson on Friday, is now 10-4-1 on the season.
“Last year we came out of there knowing that Kevin had stolen one for us. He made some big saves tonight, but we played an excellent game in front of him. This one was no steal, although it is obviously a huge win for us,” said Saint coach Joe Marsh.
The Saints dominated the first two periods and headed into the final 20 minutes with a 3-1 lead. It might have been even bigger had not the Saints hit two posts in the second period.
The Wildcats took an early lead on a fluke goal at 6:05 of the first period as a shot from the point by sophomore defenseman Brian Yandle was deflected out of the air and past Ackley by a SLU forward for Yandle’s seventh goal of the season. The Saints dominated the rest of the period, however, and took a 2-1 lead on goals just 48 seconds apart.
Ziga Petac tipped a shot from the point by Ryan Glenn past UNH goalie Mike Ayers at 8:30, just five seconds after a Saint power play had expired to tie the game and senior center Rich Peverley snapped a shot into the upper corner for his sixth of the year at 9:18 for the 2-1 lead.
The Saints had to kill off a trio of Wildcat power plays in the second period and did so with the help of 11 saves by Ackley and SLU added to its lead when sophomore T.J. Trevelyan cut in front of Ayers and snapped home his tenth goal of the season at the 15:14 mark to make it 3-1 after two periods.
Trevelyan’s goal, his second of the weekend, turned into the game winner when UNH junior wing Sean Collins walked in on Ackley after a steal in the Saint defensive end and tucked the puck around the Saint goalie 2:22 into the final period. Ackley shut the Wildcats down the rest of the way to complete his 26 saves night while Ayers finished with 35 stops for UNH.
“Kevin is simply unflappable,” said Marsh. “He didn’t let the first one bother him and came up big late in the game when UNH turned it up a couple of notches. There was nothing he could do on Collins’ goal, but he came up huge on Martz on the breakaway.
“We’ve had some good efforts so far this season which have ended up with us on the wrong side of the score. It really feels good to win one of these, and it should be a big boost for us from a confidence standpoint.”