Doherty, Gunnar Hughes Help Saints To 4-3 Comeback Win
A pair of rookies scored third period goals to bring St. Lawrence University's men's hockey team from behind, and there is finally a series leader in the brief history of college hockey games between St. Lawrence and Minnesota State.
Patrick Doherty and Gunnar Hughes scored goals 1:16 apart in the third period to bring the Saints from a 3-2 deficit to a 4-3 win in the third meeting between the two teams in program history. They tied 5-5 and 1-1 in games in Mankato last season.
St. Lawrence, unbeaten in its last five, improves to 8-10-2 on the season and is now 4-5-2 in non league action. Minnesota State put up another good showing without a positive result to show for it and will take a 5-15-1 record into Saturday's series-concluding rematch.
"Minnesota State is a young team with some outstanding freshman talent up front, and they have had a lot of tough losses against quality opposition," said Saint associate head coach Mike Hurlbut. "They battled right from the start and gave us a good test."
The Saints scored the only goal of the first period on a five-on-three power play as junior captain Kyle Flanagan put away his fourth goal in the last three games, converting on a setup by junior defenseman George Hughes at 12:28. It was Flanagan's 10th goal of the season. Flanagan now has eight points in his last three games since coming back from injury and has 84 points in 83 career games.
"Kyle is a highly skilled player and makes things happen on the ice," Hurlbut said. "He, Greg Carey and George Hughes work very well together on the power play and that has shown in our last three games."
The Mavericks tied the scored 3:27 into the second period when freshman Matt Leitner put his seventh of his rookie season into a wide open net, and while the Saints regained the lead when Mark Armstrong wristed a shot over MSU goalie Austin Lee's glove and just under the crossbar at 9:19 with the Hughes brothers, Gunnar and George getting the assists, MSU tied it again when Johnny McInnis scored on a power play deflection for his fourth of the year at 12:59.
Minnesota State took its first lead of the game 11:14 into the third period as freshman John Paul Lafontaine scored his 11th of the season on a power play, but the Saints came right back to regain the lead.
Doherty was left alone at the left post and Carey found him with a pass for a power play goal with Flanagan also assisting at 14:41 and Gunnar Hughes scored his second of the year and first collegiate game winner when he was alone about six feet in front of the goal and put away a pass by sophomore Jeremy Wick at 15:57 with defenseman Pete Hughes picking up the second assist.
Saint goalie Matt Weninger finished with 22 saves including a pair of breakaway stops for the win while Lee had 28 saves for the Mavericks.