CANTON — The St. Lawrence University hockey team continues to get close to breaking through for its first ECAC Hockey win of the season, but not close enough.
Alex Jasiek scored a key power-play goal five minutes and 44 seconds into the third period and goalie Devin Buffalo made 20 saves as Dartmouth held off the Saints to record a 3-2 victory Friday night before a turnout of 1,195 at Appleton Arena.
With the loss, the Saints fell to 4-17-4 and remain winless in league play at 0-10-1, having lost their past 10 games in the conference.
“Words can’t describe it,” Morris said of the team’s slump in the circuit. “There’s key moments in games that determine the outcome and you have to be ready to respond the right way in order to find success.”
St. Lawrence was also dealt its third consecutive one-goal loss — all in ECAC Hockey play.
“I don’t think we came out good in the first (period), I thought we were good in the second and third,” Saints senior defenseman Nolan Gluchowski said. “We’ve got to be more consistent, we’ve got to play a full 60 (minutes) if we want to win games in the ECAC.”
After the game, Morris made it clear that a lack of discipline in taking penalties proved costly for the team.
“Once again that was the case and that’s on me,” Morris said. “You can’t win hockey games from the penalty box. We’re one of the most penalized teams in the country and we haven’t learned that lesson yet. … and it’s been our demise up to this point of the season.”
“We’re not helping ourselves,” Gluchowski said.
Morris wasn’t displeased with the Saints’ effort in the final two periods, but wasn’t happy about the way they played in the first 20 minutes.
“The two goals we got weren’t pretty, but we worked hard,” Morris said. “And I liked our effort in the second and third period, but the first period was really lethargic.”
With the win, Dartmouth (7-10-2, 5-6-1) snapped a three-game losing streak against St. Lawrence.
“We have a young team that’s playing really hard,” Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet said. “I thought St. Lawrence played really well, they played hard and put a lot of pressure on us.”
The Saints, who trailed by two goals on two different occasions, pulled within 2-1 on Gluchowski’s goal six minutes and six seconds into the second period.
But Jasiek followed with his power-play goal 5:44 into the third period.
“We had some timely goals,” Gaudet said. “That power-play goal in the third (period) was huge for us and gave us a little bit of breathing room because they were really coming hard and kept getting on us.”
St. Lawrence responded to draw within 3-2 as Gicewicz scored with 11:46 remaining in regulation, but would get no closer.
With junior goalie Arthur Brey pulled for an extra attacker with 1:47, Buffalo made a save on freshman Philip Alftberg’s bid with 1:05 remaining and covered the puck after a scramble for the rebound in front.
“I thought he made a couple of really key saves down the stretch,” Gaudet said of Buffalo. “He had a shoulder save in the final minute that was just outstanding, he corralled a couple pucks and got some faceoffs for us with the goalie pulled.”
Dartmouth led 1-0 on Charley Michalowski’s goal 8:25 into the game and built its first two-goal lead of the night on Shane Sellar’s goal 2:05 into the second period.
“It was a slow start and there was some miscommunication and some poor coverages,” Morris said. “We need to get that cleaned up if we’re going to get over the hump.”
Brey stopped 24 of 27 shots faced for St. Lawrence.
“Everyone is still pretty positive in the locker room,” Gicewicz said of the outcome. “I think we’ve kind of cheated ourselves out of some wins and once we stop doing that, we know that we’ll start getting some.”
St. Lawrence will continue its four-game homestand when it hosts Harvard, which tied No. 2 Clarkson, 6-6, on Friday, at 7 p.m. today.
■ NOTES: St. Lawrence senior defenseman Matt Purmal returned to the lineup after missing the past eight games because of injury. … Gluchowski’s goal was his first of the season. … The Saints are now 1-7-2 on home ice.