Chris Fitz Gerald is a sportswriter for the Watertown Daily Times.
Chris has covered hockey over the course of three decades, with his past beats including Union College of the ECAC and the Albany River Rats of the AHL, as well coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals (2003), the NCAA Frozen Four (2001) and several NCAA Regionals and ECAC Tournaments.
After breaking in as a part-time writer at The Record in Troy, N.Y., in 1990, Chris worked at The Daily Editor in Cobleskill, N.Y., from 1992-94, before returning to The Record, where he served as a sportswriter from 1994-2010 and as a news reporter for a year. After working at the Glens Falls Post-Star as a news copy editor, Chris joined the Watertown Daily Times staff in May 2012.
A native of Scotia, N.Y., Chris is a graduate of the State University of New York's College at Brockport, where he majored in journalism and minored in history.
CANTON — Brady Shaw had a hand in both goals and goalie Mike Santaguida made 35 saves to record the shutout as No. 10-ranked Vermont downed St. Lawrence University, 2-0 on Saturday night in a nonconference game at Appleton Arena.
The Catamounts (13-3-1) swept the home-and-home series with the Saints (8-8-1) to extend their winning streak to six games.
St. Lawrence, which was shut out for the first time this season, has lost four consecutive games heading into its holiday break.
“We’re snake bit right now and are having a hard time scoring,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “Again, they’re a good hockey team and I think these are two teams that are pretty evenly matched.”
The Saints, who also reached the midway mark of its regular season, continued their offensive woes as they have scored only four goals over those four games.
The latest setback didn’t come because of a lack of chances as the Saints out shot Vermont, 35-29.
“I don’t mind the way our team is playing,” Carvel said. “I’m not upset with our team, we’re playing hard, we’re playing right. We’re following the game plan, it’s just pucks aren’t going in the net for us.”
Yet this is a small consolation for St. Lawrence, which has generated just a pair of goals in its past three games, including a 2-1 loss at Vermont on Friday.
Freshman goalie Kyle Hayton, who sat for the first time this season on Friday in favor of sophomore Tyler Parks, finished with 27 saves for the Saints.
The Catamounts led 1-0 as Kevin Irwin finished off a 2-on-1 break by sending a wrister past Hayton 14 minutes and seven seconds into the second period.
Vermont followed with the back-breaking tally on Shaw’s power-play goal as he tipped in a drive by Mike Paliotta 1:02 into the third period, with three seconds left on the man advantage.
The Saints, who broke a power-play slump with Brian Ward’s goal on Friday, still had their chances to break through in the third period, but went scoreless on two man advantages.
St. Lawrence finished 0-for-5 on the power play while Vermont cashed in on one of five opportunities.
The Saints are off until the new year as they’ll travel to face another Hockey East foe in Northeastern on Jan. 2-3.
“I think we’ve commanded some respect, where as in the beginning of the year nobody expected much from us,” Carvel said. “But I think we’re a tough team to play against and I don’t think we’re going to sneak up on anybody. ... But we’re going through a stretch now where we’ve got to realize that our game has got to get to another level, we’ve got to continue to get better.”
NOTES: St. Lawrence is 2-4-1 on home ice and 6-5 on the road. ... The Saints slipped to 1-5 after allowing the game’s first goal. ... St. Lawrence’s next home game will be on Jan. 9 against Cornell and it will host Colgate the next night, both 7 p.m. starts.
CANTON — Sophomores James de Haas and Jordan Boucher each scored in the second period, with Boucher generating the eventual game winner, and Clarkson University went on to grind out a 2-1 victory over St. Lawrence University in an ECAC Hockey encounter before a sellout crowd of 2,391 at Appleton Arena.
“I thought it was a typical SLU-Clarkson game, there were a lot of chances on both sides,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. “But Steve was really good in net tonight and our penalty kill was really good. We do a good job of squashing teams and taking away second chances and I thought we did that tonight.”
In the last meeting, the Saints blanked the Golden Knights, 4-0 to halt a lengthy winless skid against their north country foes.
This time, Clarkson rebounded to edge past St. Lawrence to extend its unbeaten streak against its rival in ECAC play to nine games (8-0-1).
“Every win against them is special,” sophomore goalie Steve Perry said. “This is definitely a big win for us, especially in ECAC play.”
Perry stopped 21 of 22 shots faced to earn the win for Clarkson (6-7-4, 4-1-2).
“That’s our strength,” Jones said of Clarkson’s defensive success on this night.
Freshman netminder Kyle Hayton, who blanked Clarkson in a 4-0 decision in the previous meeting between the two teams on Nov. 1 in Potsdam, finished with 29 saves for the Saints (8-6-1, 4-3-0), who lost their second straight game.
“I thought we deserved a better fate tonight — but both teams played hard and played well,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “And that’s Clarkson’s style, they make it hard for you to get to the net and we only had 13 shots through the first two periods.”
After both teams entered Saturday tied for third place in the conference, Clarkson now sits alone in third place and St. Lawrence slipped into a tie for fifth with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
NOTES: St. Lawrence senior and captain Gunnar Hughes served the last game of his three-game suspension and should return for next Friday’s game at Vermont. The Saints will conclude the home-and-home series when they host the Catamounts at 7 p.m. next Saturday in Canton.
CANTON — Sophomore winger Sam Anas scored two goals, including the game winner in overtime, as No. 14 Quinnipiac rallied past St. Lawrence University, 3-2 on Saturday night in an ECAC Hockey game before a turnout of 1,450 at Appleton Arena.
Anas scored the tying goal with 3 minutes, 59 seconds remaining in regulation and followed with the deciding tally with 2:42 left in overtime.
“It’s very frustrating,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “ ... Just a couple mistakes allowed them to tie the game and win the game. We allowed their best player and their best goal-scorer to get two scoring chances like that and he made us pay.”
St. Lawrence (8-5-1, 4-2-0), which entered the night tied for first place in ECAC Hockey, suffered only its second league loss of the season.
“It’s tough, it’s game we easily could have had,” St. Lawrence assistant captain Patrick Doherty said. “Just a couple mental errors costs us and a couple bounces didn’t go our way at the end.”
Quinnipiac (8-3-1, 5-1-0), which stands alone in first place in the league, cooled off the Saints, who lost for just the second time in their past seven games (5-1-1).
With the Saints leading 2-1 and seemingly in control, Anas drew the Bobcats even as he knocked in a Matthew Peca rebound.
Then after Quinnipiac killed off a full two-minute St. Lawrence power play to begin overtime, Anas struck again as he collected in a pass from Justin Agosta and worked his way in unchecked, lifting a drive off the bottom of the crossbar and past freshman goalie Kyle Hayton (26 saves) for the game winner.
The Saints also suffered their first loss after leading through two periods (6-1).
Yet despite the loss, St. Lawrence stands tied for second place in the conference with three other teams – Harvard, Clarkson and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
After Quinnipiac led 1-0 on Tanner MacMaster’s goal at 11:06 of the first period, Doherty and freshman defenseman Matt Purmal each scored in the second period to provide the Saints with a 2-1 advantage.
CANTON — Supported by another strong defensive effort, freshman goaltender Kyle Hayton made 26 saves as St. Lawrence turned back Princeton, 3-0 on Friday night in an ECAC Hockey game at Appleton Arena.
“I feel really good,” Hayton said. “Defensively, we played very well and limited their shots and opportunities. We also blocked a lot of shots.”
Hayton posted his fourth shutout of the season to equal a school record held by three others.
“I think defensively we keep getting better, that was our fourth shutout of the year,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “I think outside of a couple breakdowns, we didn’t give up a lot.”
Hayton achieved this feat in just his 13th outing of the season as Hayton has started every game and has helped guide the Saints to a 8-4-1 record, including a 4-1 start in ECAC play.
“Kyle really shined tonight and in those kind of situations,” Carvel said. “He’s really the backbone of this team and when we do have breakdowns, he makes huge saves for us.”
Gavin Bayreuther, Christian Horn and Matt Purmal each scored a goal for St. Lawrence, which coupled with Clarkson’s 2-1 victory over Quinnipiac, moved into a four-way tie for first place in the league with the Bobcats, Harvard and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The Saints successfully limited the struggling Tigers’ scoring chances, but when tested, Hayton came through, including stopping a pair of breakaways.
St. Lawrence played without seniors Gunnar Hughes and Chris Martin who were each serving suspensions stemming from a scrum after last Saturday’s win at Cornell.
The Saints will next tangle with Quinnipiac tonight at 7 at Appleton Arena.
NOTES: The last time a Saints goalie posted four shutouts in a season was nearly 50 years ago when Bob Perani tied the school record in the 1965-66 season, following Bill Sloan (1955-56) and Richie Broadbelt (1962-63). ... Hughes still has two games remaining on his suspension, while Martin is eligible to return tonight. ... St. Lawrence improves to 2-1-1 at home and is 6-3-0 on the road.
OXFORD, Ohio — Freshman goalie Kyle Hayton had the busiest night for a St. Lawrence University goaltender since the Saints’ epic four-overtime victory against Boston University in the NCAA Tournament in 2000, making 51 saves. But it wasn’t enough.
The Saints had to settle for a split of their two-game weekend series at No. 10 Miami as the Redhawks pulled out a 2-1 triumph in overtime in a nonconference game on Saturday night at Steve Cady Arena.
Hayton’s save total was the most since Derek Gustafson made 72 stops in the Saints’ 3-2 victory over Boston University in four overtimes in a national quarterfinal on March 26, 2000 in what was the longest game in NCAA Tournament history.
Hayton made 38 saves in St. Lawrence’s 5-4 win at Miami on Friday and finished with 89 stops for the weekend.
Sean Kurady snapped a 1-1 deadlock three minutes and 25 seconds into the extra period for Miami (4-2).
The Saints (3-3) jumped out to an early lead for the second straight night as senior Justin Bruckel scored his second goal of the series at 15:07 of the first period. He pounced on a rebound of a Brian Ward drive which had deflected off a goal post.
Miami drew even at 1-1 as following St. Lawrence turnover in its defensive zone, John Doherty scored his first goal of the season, with Taylor Richart assisting, 6:48 into the second period.
The Redhawks came out strong to begin the overtime and Hayton made eight saves in the period before the puck popped free in front and Kurady was able to bury it for the game winner.
Williams finished with 10 saves for Miami.
The Redhawks outshot the Saints, 53-11, including 15-0 in the second period, and 8-1 in overtime.
St. Lawrence went scoreless on five power-play chances, and Miami went 0-for-4 on the man advantage.
The Saints will play rival Clarkson in a home-and-home series next week, beginning with a game 7 p.m. on Friday in Canton.
CANTON — Freshman goalie Kyle Hayton made 33 saves to record his first collegiate shutout and freshman defenseman Mitch Eden scored his first goal as St. Lawrence blanked No. 4-ranked Ferris State, 2-0 in a nonconference game on Saturday night before a turnout of 1,950 at Appleton Arena.
“It’s great to finally get it,” Hayton said of the shutout. “It’s been four games and I’ve already got one — usually it takes a lot longer than that.”
Senior assistant captain Patrick Doherty added a crucial goal in the third period for the Saints (2-2) to turn back the Bulldogs (2-1).
A night after Hayton made 44 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss to Ferris State, the netminder and a primarily young St. Lawrence team shook off the setback to prevail.
“We came hard tonight and played a good all-around game,” Hayton said. “They helped me out a lot and I didn’t have to do much today.”
Hayton, who has started in all four games this season for the Saints (2-2), made 15 saves in the third period, to turn back Ferris State.
“That was night and day for him, compared to last night where he had to make a lot of saves,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said of Hayton. “He didn’t have to make a lot of saves tonight, but when he had to he did a great job covering the rebounds against a team which thrives on crashing the net.”
When asked about Hayton’s overall performance, Carvel said: “He’s been great all four games for us.”
Special teams also proved crucial as the Saints killed off all six Bulldogs power plays, including a 28-second man advantage in the final minute.
St. Lawrence didn’t allow a power-play goal all weekend from 11 Ferris State chances and has snuffed out all 14 of their opponents’ man advantages over the past three games.
Both team’s power plays were held in check over the two as St. Lawrence went scoreless on all seven of its man advantages, including four on Saturday.
Next week the Saints will travel to face another nationally-ranked team in a two-game set at No. 11 Miami of Ohio.
NOTES: With his assist on Eden’s goal, Smolcynski has at least a point in all four games this season with seven (1-6) overall — is tied for the national lead in assists. ... Eden’s goal was his first collegiate point.” ... Hayton’s shutout was the first by a Saints freshman since Matt Weninger in the 2010-11 season.
CANTON — Ferris State found a way to spoil St. Lawrence University’s men’s hockey home opener on Friday night.
The Saints received some late-game heroics as Tommy Thompson tied the game in the third period, but Chad McDonald followed with the game-winning goal one minute and 39 seconds into overtime to lift the No. 4-ranked Bulldogs to a 3-2 victory in a nonconference game before a crowd of 1,935 at Appleton Arena.
Ferris State (2-0) emerged with the win despite a solid home debut from freshman goalie Kyle Hayton, who finished with 44 saves for St. Lawrence (1-2).
“Our goaltender was outstanding and gave us a chance,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said.
A year after the Saints spoiled the Bulldogs’ season opener, Ferris State returned the favor.
“We came in here with a chip on our shoulder,” McDonald said. “Last year, St. Lawrence came into our barn and beat us the first game, and that was actually our only loss at home all year. So we had something to prove.”
Thompson had tied the game with 5:41 remaining in regulation as he knocked in a rebound of a Ben Masella drive past senior goalie C.J. Motte.
Hayton’s performance was the most saves for a Saints netminder in a game since Matt Weninger made 47 stops in a 4-3 loss against Clarkson on Jan. 21, 2012.
Appropriately enough, Hayton has already emerged as St. Lawrence’s top goaltender in the early going this season as he’s made all three starts — following Weninger, who graduated in the spring after backstopping the program for the past three-plus seasons.
Motte finished with 22 saves to turn back St. Lawrence.
The Saints scored on their first shot on goal as Ward took a feed from Drew Smolcynski and rifled a drive from the slot just under Motte’s glove just 55 seconds into the game.
Ferris State drew even well into the second period as Mayhew pounced on his own rebound to finally solve Hayton at 13:24, then took a 2-1 lead on Matt Robertson’s goal 9:31 into the third.
St. Lawrence killed off all five Ferris State power plays and has allowed only one man-advantage goal in the first three games from 15 of the opposition’s chances.
NOTES: The Saints had won their past two home openers after losing to Ferris State, 4-2, in its season opener in October 2011 in Canton.... St. Lawrence freshman defenseman Nolan Gluchowski has been sidelined with a knee injury suffered last weekend at Niagara.
NIAGARA FALLS — After managing just a pair of goals in its season opener, St. Lawrence University’s men’s hockey team responded by generating the program’s top offensive performance in 13 seasons.
Defensemen Gavin Bayreuther and Ben Masella each scored a pair of goals as the Saints rolled to a 10-2 triumph over Niagara University on Saturday night in a nonconference game at Dwyer Arena.
Bayreuther and Masella finished with three-point nights and Drew Smolcynski recorded four assists for St. Lawrence (1-1), which bounced back after a 5-2 loss at Rochester Institute of Technology the night before.
“It was a strange game,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “We took advantage of a team that was shorthanded, they were missing a number players because of injury and other reasons. It was one of those nights where everything we shot found its way into the back of the net.”
The output was the most by a Saints team since a 10-1 victory over Yale on Feb. 16, 1996, in Canton.
Freshman goalie Kyle Hayton made 23 saves to record his first collegiate win for St. Lawrence.
“We needed to bounce back like this and Kyle Hayton played well for us,” Carvel said.
A night after giving up the first two goals of the game to RIT, the Saints scored the game’s first three goals against Niagara (0-2). After St. Lawrence built a 1-0 lead on Patrick Doherty’s goal 18 minutes, 24 seconds into the opening period, the Saints struck for two goals within the first 5 1/2 minutes of the second as Masella scored 1:19 into period and Bayreuther followed with a goal at 5:15.
After Niagara scored twice, the Saints responded by tallying three consecutive goals to close the period as freshman Mike Marnell scored at 14:15, Bayreuther tallied a power-play goal at 17:41 and Woody Hudson scored at 18:41 for a 6-2 lead through two periods.
“It was a 3-2 game halfway through the second period,” Carvel said. “But then the game just turned and everything seemed to go our way. We played well — we played a style of game that we realized that we needed to play. We were much better in the defensive zone as we were against RIT and we really utilized our team speed.”