Hanover, NH- Mike Cavanaugh’s first coaching job was in 1994 with Dartmouth College. That year, the Big Green hosted and were defeated by the Vermont Catamounts, led by Tim Thomas and Martin St. Louis, in the then titled Auld Lang Syne Classic. Fifteen years later, currently serving as the head coach of the Connecticut Huskies, Cavanaugh returned to Thompson Arena looking for some mid season hardware at the 31st (and now titled) Ledyard Bank Classic.
His squad’s first opponent of the weekend, St. Lawrence, entered with a poor record but gave a remarkably good fight. The Larry’s drew first blood with an Alex Gilmour power play goal just 6:04 into the game. St. Lawrence continued attacking the UConn net, where Junior Bradley Stone (thanks to Thomas Vomacka having the flu and a Ryan Keene shoulder injury) was making his first start. The London, England, native picked himself up and stopped the Saints’ attack the rest of the frame.
UConn’s offense woke up in the second when Wyatt Newpower threaded a shot from the blue line to the back of the net for the Captain’s second goal of the season. The tie did not last long. A mere 2:39 after the Newpower tally and 12:49 into the frame, Jordan Steinmetz returned the Larry’s to the lead. Stone kept the Saints off the board for the rest of the frame and was not pressured much in the third.
UConn tipped the shot counter their way 15-2 in the final frame, but sophomore goalie Emil Zetterquist put up a phenomenal effort to keep his team in front. He held firm until the last second of the game when UConn skated 6on5 and flooded his crease. After a mad scramble in front, Husky Alternate Captain Alexander Payusov found an opening and scored with three tenths of a second left on the clock. Sasha’s fourth goal of the year was reviewed and held to scrutiny, forcing overtime.
The extra session was entertaining with UConn leading the shot counter 4-2. Both goalies made very nice saves and kept the game tied after the five minute extra session.
For purposes of season record, the game ended in a 2-2 tie. St. Lawrence goes to 3-12-3. Emil Zetterquist stopped 39 of 41 shots. Zach Risteau recorded an assist on Steinmetz’s goal and is tied for the 2nd highest point total in the ECAC with Clarkson’s Haralds Egle (both have 7 goals,13 assists, and 20 points) and only trails Clarkson’s Devin Brosseau (7G, 16A, 23 PTS).
UConn moves to 7-6-4. Bradley Stone stopped 21 of 23 shots in his first game action since playing 5:19 of an 8-2 UConn win against UMass on December 5th, 2017.
“I was just thinking about playing my normal game” said Stone. “Don’t do too much. Just do what got me here.”
The teams got a tie, but with a trophy on the line, the teams partook in a shootout. St. Lawrence’s third skater, Alex Gilmour, scored to put UConn on the brink. Senior UConn Captain Benjamin Freeman roofed a backhander up and over Zetterquist to force it even. From the original three shooter format, the shootout ended up going nine deep with Stone and Zetterquist staring down one shot after another. UConn ended the matinee with sophomore Carter Turnbull beating Zetterquist.
— Chris Lynch (@cclynchwall) December 28, 2019
“Frustrating,” said SLU Head Coach Brent Brekke. “We played our hockey game for the first 40 minutes and then got away from it. We turned pucks over left and right and didn’t manage in the third period. Winning hockey is managing the game and situation. That’s an opportunistic team and we gave them an opportunity.”
St. Lawrence skates against Colorado College in the Ledyard Classic consolation game at 4 pm on Sunday at Thompson Arena.
“I thought we started a little slow,” observed Mike Cavanaugh. “But as the game wore on, I thought we got better and better. Cause we stayed with it and it’s not over until that final horn blows… I can’t say enough about Brad Stone. He made eight saves in the shootout. I’m proud of him.”
The Huskies skate for the Ledyard Classic Trophy on Sunday night against the host Dartmouth College Big Green. Puck drops at 7 pm ET.