MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. – The St. Thomas men's hockey team opened its new year with a wild 6-5 win over Saint Mary's University on Friday night at St. Thomas Ice Arena. After falling behind 4-1 early in the second period, the Tommies came back to score four unanswered goals to take a 5-4 lead.
But the Cardinals scored a shorthanded goal with just 16 seconds remaining to tie the game and send it to overtime. With a 5-on-3 advantage to open the overtime, the Tommies scored just 32 seconds in to the extra period to take the wild win and improve to 7-3-3 (6-0-1 MIAC), while Saint Mary's drops to 7-5-2 (4-3-0 MIAC).
The Cardinals opened the game with a spark, scoring just 1:21 into the first period when Jared Johnson scored his second of the year with assists from Kevin Walz and Landon Ferrell.
St. Thomas answered six minutes later with a goal from Michael Dockry. Assists went to Joakim Broberg and Johnny Panvica on the score, which was Dockry's sixth of the year, but Saint Mary's came right back to take the lead on a Bob Kinne goal with 10:14 gone in the opening period.
The fireworks were put on pause for the remainder of the period, as the two teams went to the locker room with the visitors holding a 2-1 lead, which they quickly built upon in the second period.
Mike Mazzano scored 5:20 in to the frame with assists from Taylor Portner and Nick Albergo to extend the lead to 3-1. Just 32 seconds later, Kinne scored his second of the night on a bad angle shot from the side of the net. The goal put the Cardinals out in front 4-1 with all the momentum.
Senior Chris Benson brought the Tommies within two when he scored his third goal of the season with 2:48 remaining in the second period. Trailing 4-2, St. Thomas went to the locker room for the second intermission looking to get something going early in the third.
Get it going they did, as the Tommie men came out to score three goals in the first eight minutes of the final frame. D.J. Jones got things started with his first of the year at the 4:05 mark. Thomas Williams followed with the equalizer a minute later.
It was Williams again two minutes after that to give the Tommies the lead. He received assists from Brett Gravelle and Cullen Willox, and put it away from just to the left of the slot for his fifth of the year.
At 19:24 of the final period, the Tommies drew a penalty on the Cardinals, and it looked as if the Purple would walk away with the win, but Saint Mary's had other ideas. With just 16 seconds remaining, Kinne completed the hat trick shorthanded, scoring again from a bad angle along the goal line to tie the game up and send it to overtime.
After a late penalty called on the Cardinals, the Tommies took a 5-on-3 advantage into the overtime and needed just 32 seconds to take the golden-goal win. Johnny Roisum scored on a backhand after receiving assists from Michael Dockry and Brian LeBlanc to put the game away.
On the wild night, Saint Mary's finished with a 36-30 shot advantage, but went scoreless on four power play opportunities, as opposed to a 2-for-6 mark for the Tommies.
After Andrew Rohkohl allowed four goals, Ben Myers came in relief and recorded the win, making 14 saves and allowing just one goal in 34 and a half minutes in net. He improves to 6-1-2 on the year, while Phil Heinle drops to 4-3-2 after making 24 saves in the loss for Saint Mary's.
These two teams will be back in action again tomorrow night when they travel back to Winona for a 7:00 pm puck drop at Saint Mary's Ice Arena.