Jan. 15: St. Lawrence University’s men’s hockey team came tantalizingly close to ending a slump at seventh ranked Harvard on Friday night, but Harvard All America and Hobey Baker Award candidate Jimmy Vesey took care of that in the third period.
Vesey scored a natural hat trick, netting three goals in 4:55 of the third period, leading the Crimson to a 3-2 win over the Saints and handing SLU its fourth straight loss. Vesey ran his goal total against the Saints to eight in seven career starts as the Crimson, 9-3-3 overall and 5-2-3 in league play beat the 10-9-2, 4-4-1 Saints for the first time in the last four SLU visits to Cambridge.
“We got beat by Jim Vesey tonight, but I am very pleased with our game. We bounced back from Clarkson, where we played very poorly, and played to our identity tonight, said Saint coach Greg Carvel. “I thought we played a good pace and were physical. I would have liked us to create a little more offensively and get to the net more than we did, but I thought we took them off their game for two periods and then they pushed back hard in the third.”
In addition to playing their fourth game in eight days, the Saints were without a trio of regulars who were injured in Tuesday’s loss at Clarkson. Forwards Mike Marnell and Ryan Lough and defenseman Mike Graham are all out indefinitely after sustaining injuries on Tuesday.
The two teams played a scoreless first period, although Harvard light the goal lamp with 1:40 to go only to have the play waved off on a high stick violation after Tyler Moy knocked a high rebound off a save by Kyle Hayton into the net on a power play.
The Saints took a 1-0 lead at 14:24 of the second period when Joe Sullivan went hard to the net and put his sixth goal of the year behind Harvard goalie Merrick Madsen with Jacob Pritchard and Alexander Dahl assisting. Hayton kept it a 1-0 game with a big save on Vesey on a Harvard power play late in the period, but Vesey would get his revenge in the third period.
Vesey tied the game 3:53 into the third with the teams skating four on four as he took a pass from defenseman Wiley Sherman and scored on a backhand just under the crossbar. He scored his second on a hard wrist shot along the ice and inside the far post from linemates Alexander Kerfoot and Kyle Criscuolo at 6:15 and completed the hat trick when he gloved down a Saint clearing attempt, went forehand to backhand and put his 13th goal of the season away at 8:48.
The Saints, who were outshot 16-6 in the third period, battled back late in the game when Sean McGovern sprawled on his stomach and poked a rebound of a shot by Tommy Thompson past Madsen as the puck sat in the crease. Alex Hagen also assisted on the goal which came with 1:31 to play in regulation.
The Saints pulled Hayton for the extra attacker with 1:08 to go and got a couple of chances in the Crimson end, but Harvard was able to hang on for the win.