March 20, 2009

ALBANY, NY--A mere 1:34 separated St. Lawrence University's hockey team from a spot in the ECAC Hockey Championship game and perhaps a bid to the NCAA tournament.

But Yale proved that a lot can happen in a hurry in a college hockey game, tying the game with an extra attacker goal with 1:28 to play and getting the eventual game-winning goal on a two-on-one just 22 seconds later to stun the Saints 4-3 and advance to the title game on Saturday.

The Saints, who saw an eight game unbeaten streak come to an end, will play in the consolation game Saturday afternoon with the hope that a win and some help from other teams in other tournaments will land them a chance to continue their season in the NCAA tournament.

St. Lawrence, 21-12-4, had a 3-2 lead after Kevin DeVergilio scored on a breakaway with 3:06 to play in the second period. The Saints had chances to add to the lead, getting good bids on a five-on-three power play midway through the third period and later in a scramble in front of Yale goalie Alec Richards, but Richards made 17 of his 35 saves in the third period and Yale pulled off the last minute rally for the win.

"Sometimes sports can be pretty cruel," said Saint coach Joe Marsh. "That was a tough one to take, but you have to look at it from the standpoint that it was a do or die situation for Yale and they made the plays they needed to make to advance.

"It was a tremendous hockey game and Yale showed a lot of resiliency. They are a very worthy champion and have earned everything they have received. It was a tough break for us, but that is what happens and now we have to find a spark and turn what we feel right now into something positive to take into tomorrow. We have a chance to keep playing with a win tomorrow, so we have to put our disappointment behind us quickly."

Mark Arcobello scored the tying goal for the Elis as Yale won a draw in the Saint end and Broc Little slid the puck forward to Arcobello, who was at the side of the net and tucked the puck past Saint goalie Alex Petizian and inside the far post at 18:32.

While the game seemed destined for overtime, Yale won the draw after the tying goal and Matt Nelson and Brendan Mason broke in on a two-on-one break with Nelson redirecting Mason's pass just under the crossbar at 18:54 to give Yale the lead.

The Saints pulled Petizian for the extra attacker, and got an early flurry, but Yale was able to hang on as the seventh-ranked Elis won an ECAC semifinal game for the first time in program history.

SLU took the early lead in the game as Jared Keller scored the only goal of the first period on a deflection of a wrist shot by Aaron Bogosian with Matt Generous also assisting at 12:11. Bogosian broke into the Yale zone and snapped a shot from the top of the faceoff circle which Keller deflected for his seventh of the season.

Yale answered with a pair of second period goals just 2:14 apart to take a 2-1 lead. Little scored the first, his 15th of the season as he was alone in the short slot and slid the puck through traffic in front of Petizian at 4:12. Defenseman Ken Trentowski then scored his first of the year on a power play shot from the point through traffic at 6:26 to give Yale a 2-1 lead.

The Saints responded at 9:39 as defenseman Zach Miskovic scored his 16th of the season on a shot through a screen which eluded Richards with Shawn Fensel and Alex Curran assisting. DeVergilio then put the Saints in front when he took a pass from Derek Keller and broke in alone on Richards, faking the goalie to the side before sliding the puck around his outstretched leg at 16:54 for DeVergilio's 11th of the year.

"One of the things that got us to this point is the senior leadership we've had. We have weathered some tough injuries and some tough losses, but one of the things we have had this season is a pretty good level of resiliency. We had our chances tonight and Yale came away the winner...but we still have a lot to play for on Saturday."