CANTON, N.Y. – For the second consecutive night, the Gophers men’s hockey team rallied on the road to force overtime, this time doing so more dramatically.
But the best Minnesota could do Saturday night was to settle for an improbable 2-2 tie with St. Lawrence after a scoreless five-minute overtime.
For the first 59 minutes at Appleton Area, Saints goalie Kyle Hayton was unbeatable. He made 40 saves and early in the third period had a 2-0 lead.
Desperate at the end, Gophers coach Don Lucia pulled goalie Eric Schierhorn with under two minutes left to play for an extra attacker.
And defying the odds, Mike Szmatula assisted on one goal by Jack Sadek and scored another himself in the final minute of regulation to enable No. 12 Minnesota (3-2-1) to tie the score. His tying goal came with 23 seconds left.
Szmatula, a junior forward who transferred to the Gophers from Northeastern, sat out last season after proving he could score in college his first two seasons. He ranked second nationally in rookie scoring during the 2012-13 season when he had 15 goals and 24 assists. He had 13 goals and 16 assists as a sophomore.
His goal vs. St. Lawrence (3-4-1), ranked No. 18 by USCHO.com, was his third this season for the native of Commerce Township, Mich.
Hayton finished with 42 saves, one in the extra period. Schierhorn stopped 22 shots, two in OT.
Ryan Lough gave St. Lawrence a 1-0 lead with 5:02 left in the opening period. Gavin Bayreuther of the Saints scored a shorthanded goal at 6:41 of the third period.
On Friday, the Gophers fell behind Clarkson 3-0 in the opening period but rallied to win 4-3 in overtime with two goals in the second and one in the third.