CANTON, N.Y. — University of Maine first-year men’s hockey coach Red Gendron was in position to pick up his first win after his Black Bears received a power-play goal from senior left wing Mark Anthoine to tie St. Lawrence University 2-2 with eight minutes left in Saturday night’s game at the Appleton Arena.
But sophomore center Brian Ward’s goal with 4:54 remaining and senior left wing Greg Carey’s goal just 48 seconds later gave the Saints a 5-2 victory and a sweep of their two-game set.
Carey added an empty-net goal.
St. Lawrence, which had won 3-1 on Friday night, has now swept the Black Bears in two consecutive seasons.
“At the end of the day, for two nights, we didn’t put together a full 60 minutes and because we didn’t, we didn’t win,” said Gendron.
Ryan Lomberg staked Maine to a 1-0 lead in an evenly-played first period but the Saints dominated the second period to the tune of a 16-4 shots-on-goal margin and were rewarded with Gavin Bayreuther’s power-play goal and Jeremy Wick’s go-ahead goal with eight seconds left in the period.
But Anthoine, who tied for the national lead in power-play goals with 11 two years ago, got the equalizer.
Ward’s game-winner came off a Gunnar Hughes feed as Hughes carried the puck in the Maine zone and waited until the unattended Ward was in the high slot.
Ward took the pass and beat Maine goalie Martin Ouellette with a quick shot from the middle.
Carey quickly extended the lead by converting a three-on-one that also involved Wick and Kyle Essery.
Carey busted down the left side and blazed a low shot into the short-side (blocker) corner.
“We made mistakes (on those two goals),” said Gendron. “It was youthful exuberance. We turned the puck over on one and tried to make a low-percentage play on the other. And St. Lawrence buried them.
“We played well in the first period and in the third period. We outshot them 19-6 in the third period. But we couldn’t get the third goal and they got the third and fourth,” said Gendron who skated 13 freshmen and sophomores among his 18 forwards and defensemen.
Lomberg opened the scoring at the 4:27 mark of the first period when he elected to shoot on a two-on-one and beat St. Lawrence goalie Matt Weninger. Jake Rutt picked up an assist on the play.
“That was a great goal,” said Gendron who added that he was happy to see Maine score its first power-play goal of the season.
Bayreuther drew the Saints level 2:54 into the second period when he blasted a slap shot past Ouellette. Carey and Wick notched assists.
Carey also assisted on Wick’s goal as Wick batted the puck out of the air past Ouellette off a Carey rebound.
Anthoine tied it by pouncing on a Dan Renouf rebound and sweeping the puck past Weninger.
Carey finished with two assists to go with his two goals and that gives him four goals and seven assists in four career games against Maine. Wick had two assists to go with his goal.
Bayreuther had an assist to accompany his goal.
Weninger finished with 33 saves giving him 124 saves on 128 shots in his four wins over Maine.He had 19 Grade-A (high-percentage) saves on Saturday.
Ouellette finished with 32 saves of which 17 were of the Grade-A variety.
“(Ouellette) played real well. When we broke down, he made a ton of good saves. So did Weninger,” said Gendron.
Gendron said he was pleased by the fact his team responded to falling behind by getting an equalizer. They hadn’t responded as well in Friday night’s loss.
“We didn’t have the same kind of jump after giving up the goal on Friday night. The kids went after it and wound up tying the game. That piece of it is positive. But we have a long way to go,” he said.
Maine will host Atlantic Hockey team Bentley (Mass.) on Saturday night at 7:30.