Goaltender Matt Weninger gave St. Lawrence University's men's hockey team a chance to win in Friday's ECAC Quarterfinal opener at Colgate, but the Raiders converted their first two power play chances and held off the Saints for a 2-1 win in the best-of-three series.
The Saints and Raiders are no strangers in ECAC quarterfinal and post-season series, and typically the games played at Starr Rink, 13 of the 17 total, have been close affairs. Ten of the 13 games have been decided by a single goal including each of the last three quarterfinal games between the two teams at Starr Rink.
Colgate got the kind of start it was looking for, converting on its first two power play opportunities in the game to take a 2-0 lead just 5:09 into the game. Tyson Spink took a pass from his twin brother Tyler as things opened up in the Saint end after a defender fell down just 18 seconds into the first power play chance. Tyson scored his ninth of the year as Matt Weninger couldn't get back across the face of the goal fast enough to stop the point blank shot at 2:29. The brothers Spink figured in the second power play goal as well, setting up trailer Kevin Lough for the goal at 5:09 and the 2-0 lead.
Neither team scored in the second period with the Saints holding a slight 10-7 edge in shots on goal. While they outshot the Raiders, Colgate limited SLU to one shot at a time and continued its solid defense into the third period.
Greg Carey finally got something going for the Saints when he made a perfect pass from the left faceoff circle to defenseman Justin Baker, who had moved to the side of the net. Baker tapped the pass home for his ninth of the year with Jeremy Wick also assisting at 16:20 to make it a 2-1 game, but the Saints could not find the equalizer.
SLU pulled Weninger for an extra attacker with 1:17 to play, but Colgate's defense was up to the task and did not give the Saints any good looks at offensive opportunities and held the Saints without a shot on net despite the extra man on the ice.
Weninger finished with 28 saves for the Saints while Charlie Finn made 23 for the Raiders.