Zins' late goal lifts St. Thomas over Lake Superior State
With the game tied 1-1 in the final two minutes, St. Thomas defenseman Trevor Zins skated in hard to the Lake Superior State net and tucked the puck under Lakers goalie Seth Eisele’s pad to get a power play tally and lift the Tommies to a 2-1 victory.
MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. – The last time the St. Thomas men’s hockey team picked up a home victory was four months ago against Ferris State. On Friday night, the Tommies finally ended that long drought by taking down another Michigan team.
With the game tied 1-1 in the final two minutes, UST defenseman Trevor Zins skated in hard to the Lake Superior State net and tucked the puck under Lakers goalie Seth Eisele’s pad to get a power play tally and lift the Tommies to a 2-1 victory.
TREVOR ZINS WITH THE GO-AHEAD GOAL!#RollToms pic.twitter.com/W0QXgR2UVz— St. Thomas Men’s Hockey (@USTMensHockey) February 19, 2022
Lake State had a shot from Jacob Bengtsson go off the pipe and out with 7 seconds left, Louis Boudon just missed a shot from the slot and Tommies goalie Peter Thome made a nice save on Harrison Roy before the buzzer that would’ve forced overtime. So, it was a pretty wild ending for UST.
“The first two periods, we felt good and felt confident,” Zins said. “We knew that going into the third period that it was gonna be a battle, a 0-0 game and we just kept chipping away at what we were doing. That first one went in against us, not a guy quit, not a guy stopped. We kept sticking to our plan and came back and it feels good to get that W.”
Heading into the weekend, UST was coming off a bad road trip where it was handed two blowout losses by Alaska Fairbanks, but the Tommies showed early that they had put that series behind them as they were strong on both ends of the ice.
“I thought we played well all night,” Tommies head coach Rico Blasi said. “We made some mistakes, but so did they. I thought it was a good hockey game. Obviously, it comes down to a bounce on the power play, but I thought we stayed focused in the third period when they scored. I thought our details were pretty good tonight. We managed the puck a lot better than we have in the past.
"And it was a team effort from Peter in net to our D corps. Our forwards did a good job coming back. We didn’t give them too many Grade A’s (scoring chances) and when we did, we either blocked shots or got sticks on them. It’s nice because we preach team and family, and details, and process — and the process was good and we got rewarded tonight.”
The Lakers struck first just 90 seconds into the third period when Benito Posa deposited his fifth goal of the season into the back of the net, but the Tommies answered back eight minutes later. UST forward Luke Manning had a goal waved off early in the second period, but on his second good scoring chance of the game, it made it count as he got a rebound from a shot by Joey Sofo and beat Eisele to tie the game at 1-1.
“Kanger (Andrew Kangas) actually told me at the beginning of the third period that the universe was in my favor, or they owed me one,” Manning said with a laugh. “So, I was just trying to put pucks on net. I didn’t even see the second one go in, but fortunately it did and it really helped us out.”
The first period was pretty uneventful when it came to offense as both teams did a good job forcing turnovers and shutting down passing lanes. Neither team also generated any real good looks at the net with the best scoring opportunity of the period happening in the opening minute. The Tommies tried to surprise Eisele as Manning was fed a puck in the crease from behind the net, but the junior netminder denied him with a pad save.
UST appeared to get on the scoreboard early in the second as Manning fired a rebound past Eisele, but after a review, the goal was waved off due to goalie interference. The Lakers almost scored their first goal while on the power play with just over 15 minutes left, but Thome made a nice save on Roy’s one-timer.
The only other good look in the period came with 13:31 remaining as UST’s Cam Recchi received a drop pass in the slot and snapped a shot into Eisele. There were some loose pucks down low for both teams as the period wore on, but they were either cleared out or covered by the respective goalies.
The two teams will tangle again at 7 p.m. Saturday for the Tommies’ last home game of the season.
St. Thomas 2, Lake Superior State 1
First period — No scoring
Second period — No scoring
Third period — 1. LSS, Benito Posa 5 (Manz) 1:30; 2. UST, Luke Manning 5 (Sofo, Johnson) 9:38; 3. UST, Trevor Zins 3 (Manning) PPG 18:55.
Power-play opportunities: LSS 0 of 2; UST 1 of 2
Penalties: LSS 2-4; UST 2-4
Goalie saves: LSS, Seth Eisele 19 (5-9-5); UST, Peter Thome 32 (10-6-16)