Mannella stops 40 as Saints men's hockey, Brekke earn first win
Daniel Mannella made 40 saves and the St. Lawrence men's hockey team got goals from Kaden Pickering, Ryan Garvey and Zach Risteau en route to a 3-2 win over Mercyhurst at the Mercyhurst Ice Center in Erie, Pennsylvania on Saturday night.
The win is both the first of the season and the first for Charles W. Appleton II Head Coach Brent Brekke with the Scarlet and Brown."I was happy for the seniors," Brekke said. "They obviously deserved it and deserve to have success so early on in the season. Daniel Mannella, as a member of that class, was a huge piece in making some saves at key points in the game and deserved the win."
When asked what adjustments he saw from Friday night that helped the team get the win on Saturday, Brekke said: "Before the game we talked about the importance of scoring early and getting a lead, so that was the focus," he added. "We had to battle through some adversity with special teams and we had some really good kills, especially in the first period, since we were on the kill for most of it."
The Saints got on the board just two minutes into the game with Pickering's tally, as the puck skipped over a Mercyhurst stick at the blue line and the Madrid, New York native won the race through the neutral zone, moved in down the right wing side and let one go from the dot inside the far post for a 1-0 lead.
After Pickering's goal the Saints went on to kill four penalties in the first period, including one minute and 23 seconds of a 5-on-3 with two of the team's top penalty killers in the box in Ryan Garvey and Carson Gicewicz.
St. Lawrence came out firing on all cylinders in the second period, outshooting the Lakers 16-4 in the frame.
At the 16:18 mark of the middle frame, after a string of strong shifts and nearly two minutes of keeping Mercyhurst pinned in their zone, the Saints capitalized on the first puck the Lakers got out.
Risteau, who finished with both a goal and an assist for the second night in a row, picked it up at the opposite blue line and hit Garvey with a stretch past on a break into the Lakers' zone. The senior captain beat Mercyhurst netminder Garrett Metcalfe high on the glove side with a shot from the hash marks to extend the St. Lawrence lead to 2-0.
Later in the frame, with the Saints back in the box, Mercyhurst was able to convert on the power play to cut the deficit in half, as Dalton Hunter tipped a shot from Steven Ipri at the edge of the crease to beat Mannella through the pads for a 2-1 game.
With 14:55 to play in the third period, with the Saints back on the penalty kill and their lead still at one goal, Mannella robbed Mercyhurst of a shot at an equalizer with a point-blank glove save on a rebound chance.
Then, at 11:54, Risteau circled the zone and took a shot from just inside the blue line that beat Metcalfe inside the left post for what, at the time, was a much-needed insurance goal and proved to be the eventual game winner.
Mercyhurst pulled Metcalfe with 2:34 to play and the Saints held the Lakers at bay until a breakdown in the neutral zone sent the home team into the St. Lawrence zone with speed in transition and James Anderson beat Mannella with 6.7 seconds left for an extra-attacker goal and a 3-2 game.
Mercyhurst finished with a 42-27 advantage in shots on goal, but couldn't beat Mannella 5-on-5 and finished just 1-for-7 with the man advantage.
The Saints went 0-for-1 on the power play on Saturday night.
With the win, the Saints improve to 1-1, while Mercyhurst falls to 2-2.
St. Lawrence will return to Canton to host Providence and Vermont next Friday and Saturday, respectively, at the Roos House Ice Rink on the campus of SUNY Canton. Puck drop for both games is set to 7 p.m.