Sophomore defenseman Pete Child scored his second goal of the weekend with just over 52 seconds to go in regulation and the goaltender pulled for an extra attacker as St. Lawrence University came from behind to tie Minnesota State Mankato 1-1 at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato Saturday night.
Child's goal and stellar goaltending by rookie Matt Weninger earned the Saints their second straight tie in the first-ever series with the Mavericks. The two teams, both 0-0-2 on the season, skated to a 5-5 tie in Friday's season openers.
Minnesota State broke the scoring ice in Saturday's game at 15:50 of the second period when defenseman Ben Youds sent freshman wing J.P. Burkemper up ice on a rush. Burkemper cut to the goal and tried to tuck the puck past Weninger, and while the Saint goalie got a piece of it, he couldn't keep it out of the net as junior Justin Jokinen, who was following Burkemper to the net, tucked the rebound back through Weninger's pads.
The Saints, who killed off eight Maverick power plays including one in overtime, had their chances, but Maverick goalie Austin Lee came up big and some rebounds hopped over sticks in front.
Child finally solved Lee with Weninger pulled for an extra attacker. Rick Carden took the puck at the right boards and sent it behind the net to Sean Flanagan. Flanagan sent it out to Child at the top of the left faceoff circle and Child gunned a shot with traffic in front which Lee got part of, but couldn't keep from rolling over the goal line.
The Saints had a couple of golden opportunities early in the overtime period and appeared to have scored at the 2:14 mark, but Sean Flanagan was called for a hook just before the apparent goal. The Saints, with the help of four overtime saves by Weninger, were able to kill off the power play and settled for their second straight tie.
Weninger made 20 saves in a busy second period and had one at the buzzer of overtime as Michael Dorr blasted a shot from the center slot after the puck hopped off a Saint stick. Weninger reached out with his stick and knocked the shot wide as the buzzer sounded.
"It was a pretty good weekend for us in terms of what we saw across the board," said Saint coach Joe Marsh. "Both teams made some mistakes, but the only real negative for us were a couple of injuries. It would have been nice to win one of the games, but I'll settle for the ties.
"Minnesota State is a good skating team and they put a lot of shots on net. I thought we did some pretty good things defensively to break up some opportunities as well. Matt Weninger certainly backed up his impressive junior hockey credentials with his performance tonight," Marsh added.
The Saints will hit the road again next weekend, playing a non-league pair at Ferris State as the team logs over 3000 miles in the first two weekends of the season.