Comeback Bid Falls Short, Saints Edged by No. 19 Yale 3-2
A comeback bid for the St. Lawrence men's hockey team fell just short on Saturday night, as the Saints were edged by No. 19 Yale at Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Connecticut. Junior Daniel Mannella was stellar in the pipes and did everything he could to keep the game within reach, including stopping a career-high 23 shots in the second period alone. He finished with 47 total saves in the loss. The Woodbridge, Ontario native robbed Yale's leading scorer Joe Snively twice with the glove, once on a chance at the edge of the crease and once on a clear breakaway in the third period. He also made a sprawling paddle save in the final frame, coming back across the crease to bat the puck away. The Saints got goals from Alex Gilmour and Cade Gleekel in the latter half of the third period, with Carson Gicewicz, Bo Hanson and Ted McGeen recording assists against the Bulldogs. After a scoreless first period in which St. Lawrence outshot Yale 14-11, the Bulldogs stormed back for a 25-5 shot margin in the second with the help of four power play opportunities. Charlie Curti converted on one of those power plays for Yale with a shot from the point at 12:24 for the game's first goal and a 1-0 lead for the home team. Phil Kemp extended the Yale lead to 2-0 with a blast from the blue line of his own at 14:31 of the middle frame. In the opening minutes of the third period, Graham Lillibridge pushed the margin to 3-0 for the Bulldogs with a wrister from deep in the slot that beat Mannella high on the blocker side. It was seemingly all Yale, until a late power play for the Saints turned the tables and swung momentum to the visitors. It took the Saints just 43 seconds to convert on a power play opportunity for their first goal of the game after Yale's Billy Sweezey was sent off for hooking at 13:03 of the final frame. Bo Hanson started the rush out of the defensive zone and passed up to Carson Gicewicz at the Yale blue line. The Saints' captain dished to Gilmour on the left circle for a quick wrister that hit off the far post and in behind netminder Sam Tucker to make it a 3-1 game in favor of the home team at 13:46. At the 15:21 mark of the final frame, a shot from the right side by Cade Gleekel hit Tucker's stick and bounced into the net behind him to pull the Saints within a goal at 3-2. Gleekel now leads the Saints with five goals on the season. That would be as close as they got, but they made a number of offensive pushes in the final minutes, while also making key defensive stops in front of the empty net to keep it a one-goal game, including one by Hanson with his skate just before the final buzzer. Of note - St. Lawrence started the game with just 14 healthy skaters as a result of injuries and illness. Michael Laidley made his debut on defense for the Saints as a senior and Ryan Garvey was moved to the defense as well by the third period. Yale finished with a 50-24 advantage in shots with Tucker stopping 22 in the win for the Bulldogs. Both teams finished with a power play goal, as Yale went 1-for-6 with the man advantage and St. Lawrence was 1-for-4. With the loss, the Saints fall to 3-18-1 and 1-8-1 in ECAC Hockey games. Yale improves to 9-6-3 and is 7-3-1 against conference opponents. The Saints are back on the road next weekend, as they travel to Dartmouth and Harvard on Friday, January 25 and Saturday, January 26, respectively.