ANN ARBOR, MICH. — For a brief moment, St. Lawrence led No. 4 Michigan in its nonconference hockey game on Thursday.
Then, it unraveled as the Wolverines scored three times in the closing five minutes of the first period, four more times in the second period, and piled on three more in the third to pound the Saints, 10-3.
It is the worst loss St. Lawrence has suffered since losing to Maine, 10-1, on Nov. 28, 2009.
“It was a painful loss for us,” associate head coach Mike Hurlbut said. “Michigan is obviously a great team and when they start rolling, they are hard to stop.”
Freshman Tommy Thompson gave St. Lawrence (0-3-0 overall) an early 1-0 with his first career goal at 7 minutes, 49 seconds of the first. The lead lasted just under eight minutes before the Michigan onslaught.
Luke Glendening started the flurry at 15:33 with a goal to tie it at 1-1. Only 43 seconds passed before Luke Moffatt gave Michigan (4-0-0) the lead. A.J. Treais tacked on one more at 18:49, asserting Michigan's superiority and effectively ending the game there.
To be sure, Glendening recorded his second score on a one-timer just two minutes into the second period for a 4-1 edge.
St. Lawrence's Kyle Flanagan gave some hope to the Saints with a goal at 4:04 of the second to pull the Saints within 4-2.
But the Wolverines responded with another three-goal outburst against two different SLU goalies. It ended with Glendening completing his hat trick at 13:50 for a 7-2 edge.
Flanagan momentarily stopped the run with a 5-on-3 score with just 15 seconds left in the second period.
The Saints switched to their third goalie, David Grilk, in the third period, and Michigan rallied for three more unanswered goals to finish the blowout. Phil Di Giuseppe, Lindsay Sparks and David Wohlberg all scored in the third for Michigan.
The positives for St. Lawrence – there are some – include keeping Michigan without a power-play goal, heading to the box only three times (the Saints averaged 19.5 penalty minutes per game coming in) and scoring twice on the man advantage.
However, goaltending and defense continue to be an issue as the Saints head into their game with RIT on Saturday.
The trio of SLU goalies to see time in net this season has a combined 6.33 goals against average and a .789 save percentage. They've already allowed 19 goals in three games.
Defensively, the Saints give up 4.33 goals and 10.33 points per game more than they score. They kill penalties at just 73.3 percent while score on the man advantage only 17.6 percent of the time. SLU is just 3-for-17 on the power play this season, including both man-up goals against Michigan.
After RIT on Saturday, the Saints get a much-needed three-week respite between games to prepare for conference play.
“We need to do a lot better defensively (against Michigan),” Hurlbut said. “The effort was there, but we still have a lot to work on.”