Below, you'll find a video and the game story from St. Lawrence's 5-1 nonconference loss to Ferris State.
Chris Martin's first career goal:
CANTON – Change takes time. It takes commitment and determination. St. Lawrence is adopting a different offensive system introduced by new assistant coach Greg Carvel this season.
The players have bought into it, even if the on-ice execution isn’t there, as was evident in Ferris State pounding St. Lawrence, 5-1, on Saturday to complete a nonconference sweep at Appleton Arena. The Bulldogs won, 4-2, on Friday. The Saints have two more games before conference play begins.
“We either can make the learning curve a short period of time or a long period of time,” St. Lawrence captain Jacob Drewiske said. “If you look at the two games we just played obviously it’s taking longer than we want.”
Along the way, the Saints appeared slow at times and discombobulated at others. They haven’t put together a consistent full period of hockey, much less an entire game.
“You lose two games at home and see your own barn emptying before the end of the game,” forward Kyle Flanagan said. “It’s demoralizing. It takes a mental toll.”
The Saints (0-2-0 overall) took five penalties on Saturday, including a five-minute major and game misconduct in the first period. Most were a result of being out of position, fatigued or frustrated. St. Lawrence had 14 penalties in the two-game series against Ferris State (2-0-0).
“We’re not where we want to be,” associate head coach Mike Hurlbut said. “These guys keep talking about how they’re going to be accountable and disciplined. We can’t go out there and not take penalties for them, as coaches. They have to figure it out for themselves.”
Determining what would be called during the weekend proved difficult for the Saints, according to Drewiske.
Each year, referees focus on calling certain penalties tighter than others, letting some go entirely or, as was the case with St. Lawrence’s Gunnar Hughes, delivering game misconducts on plays previously ruled five-minute majors.
“As players, we’re having a tough time – what’s a hit, what’s not a hit, what’s allowed and what’s not allowed?” Drewiske said. “The refs are cracking down on penalties and it stems right down to the college ranks. It’s our responsibility as players to figure out how refs are going to call a game.”
Ferris State capitalized twice on St. Lawrence penalties. After Cory Kane gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead in the first period, Kyle Bonis scored during a 5-on-3 to take a two-goal edge.
St. Lawrence pulled it to within 2-1 when Flangan and Carey assisted on Chris Martin’s first career goal midway through the second period.
But the Saints took their fourth penalty just a minute later, and Travis Ouellette scored on the ensuing power play for a 3-1 edge.
“I’m happy we did well on special teams,” Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said. “We’re pretty fortunate we took advantage of the power plays.”
Ferris State’s penalty kill was nearly as effective. It killed five of St. Lawrence’s six power-play opportunities, including two in the third period when it was still a two-goal game.
St. Lawrence’s Greg Carey, who had 11 power-play goals last year, had few clean looks during the man-advantage all night.
Bonis, meanwhile, gave Ferris State a 4-1 edge with less than five minutes to play, and Jordie Johnston added the fifth with two minute remaining.
“It could have been 8-1,” Hurlbut said. “We looked like the team that traveled 12 hours on a bus.”