CANTON, N.Y. - Nick Pitsikoulis scored twice and added an assist, while Greg Carey provided the game-winner on his second goal of the night to power St. Lawrence over its former ECAC rival Vermont, 6-4, in non-conference action at Appleton Arena Saturday night.
Jack Downing gave the Catamounts a one-goal lead 5:49 into the contest with the two teams playing four-on-four. Vermont was trying to clear its defensive zone and a stick-on-stick check lifted a puck high into the air that Downing batted down. The senior assistant captain skated in alone on St. Lawrence goaltender Joe Spadaccini. Downing made a move on the junior and lifted a backhanded shot high into the the net for his fourth career goal in five games against the Saints. Wahsontiio Stacey was credited with an assist on the play.
Greg Carey tied things up for the Saints on a power-play goal at 8:56 of the first period. Matt Marshall was serving a Vermont penalty for elbowing and Kyle Flanagan took a feed from George Hughes. Flanagan fed Carey for a one-timer in the low right circle that beat Alex Vazzano.
Less than two minutes after the Carey goal, Kyle Essery gave the Saints their first lead of the game when Pete Child took the puck off a Vermont turnover at center ice and fed Essery who whipped a shot from the slot and through a screen that beat Vazzano five-hole for a 2-1 lead at 8:56 of the opening frame.
Nick Pitsikoulis extended the Saint lead 3-1 at 3:16 of the second period as a he collected a loose puck at the low doorstep. Rob Madore, who relieved Vazzano in the UVM net, was able to turn aside a few shots before Pitsikoulis was able to stick the puck into the back of the net and give SLU a two-goal lead. Sean Logue and Justin Baker were each credited with an assist on the play.
"We had hoped Alex would play the whole game but the first two were pretty soft and we didn't want him to lose confidence," said Sneddon of relieving his freshman. "We were also trying to spark the team defensivey, we played so poorly, but we didn't get any better defensivley."
Pitsikoulis' goal was the first of six goals combined between the two teams in the second frame.
Stacey cut the lead in half as he tallied his eighth goal of the year and fourth power play score on the season. He took a pass from Nick Bruneteau (7 assists) on the point and buried a wrist shot through a screen past Spadaccini glove side. Sebastian Stalberg picked up his team leading seventh assist on the play.
Just as Vermont seemed regain a bit of momentum, St. Lawrence built its lead to back to a pair of goals when Rick Carden finished a one-timer off a feed from Child at 7:35 of the second. Pitsikoulis picked up an assist and his second point of the night on the play.
Carey tallied his second goal of the game and team leading ninth of the season at 8:52 of the second on a power play which would prove to be the game-winner. Flanagan and Justin Baker each picked up an assist on the Carey goal.
Anders Franzon scored the first goal of his career, sending a shot through traffic and past Spadaccini to cut the Saints lead to 5-3 at 13:08. Franzon took a feed from Bruneteau on the point and had just enough space to squeeze the Catamounts' third goal of the game through a screen. Brett Leonard picked up an assist on the goal and has three assists in the last two games for UVM.
The Saints were trying to protect a two-goal lead when Stalberg made things interesting. He tallied his third goal in two games when he took a pass at the right doorstep from Downing to cut the lead to 5-4 heading into the final frame. Stacey picked up another assist on the play.
St. Lawrence was clinging to a one-goal lead 11 minutes into the third period, when Pitsikoulis scored his second goal of the game and fourth of the season to once again give the Saints a two-goal cushion. Aaron Bogosian was credited with an assist on the goal.
St. Lawrence improves to 4-8-3 with the win, while Vermont falls to 2-9-4 on the year.
The Catamounts will take a break for the holidays and returns to action on December 29 when they face U.S. National University team at Gutterson Fieldhouse at 8 p.m.
NOTES: Arthur Griem saw his first collegiate action, Griem teamed up with Lance Herrington as the third defensive pair in the first period ... Tonight's game concludes a five game road trip and is the first game of the trip in which the Catamounts did not face an opponent ranked in the top-20 by USCHO.com or USA Today ... Alex Vazzano made his first career start and stopped 11 shots ... Rob Madore played the final two periods and made 12 saves for Vermont ... Spadaccini played the first two periods in between the pipes for the Saints and turned aside seven shots, before being replaced by Matt Weninger (9 saves).