Cornell scores late to beat Saints, 3-1
St. Lawrence University's Saturday night woes continued at Cornell Saturday night as the Big Red scored twice in the final six minutes of the third period to complete a weekend sweep of the North Country teams with a 3-1 win over the Saints, spoiling another great performance by goalie Matt Weninger.
St. Lawrence, 7-5-2 overall and 1-3-2 in league play is now 2-5-0 on Saturday nights and has lost its last three Saturday night games, although all three losses have come against nationally ranked teams. Cornell improved to 6-3-2 overall and pulled even at 3-3-2 in the ECAC.The Saints grabbed the early lead on Saturday as Greg Carey scored his 11th of the season on a power play just 2:16 into the game. Kyle Flanagan found Carey at the edge of the right faceoff circle and Carey snapped a laser under the crossbar 39 seconds into the man advantage. Gunnar Hughes also assisted on the goal, the third power play goal of the weekend for the Saints.
The rest of the period was statistically dominated by the Big Red, although the Saints did have a number of ventures into the Big Red zone. The official shot count was 13-2 for Cornell and the Big Red tied it up on the 13th when senior Vince Mihalek took advantage of a Saint coverage mistake along the goal line and tucked the puck past Weninger at 18:33.
The two teams played a scoreless second period which included five power plays between them. Cornell had three in the first ten minutes of the period and the Saints killed all three, allowing three total shots on goal with the Big Red a man up. The Saints then had back-to-back power plays at 12:13 and 14:38, but could not break the tie.
The Saints came out with a solid start to the third period and created some scoring chances, but couldn't get another puck past Cornell goalie Andy Iles. The Big Red finally snapped the 1-1 tie when Erik Axell sent a long lead pass to John Esposito, who broke away to score his sixth goal of the year and the eventual game winner at 14:15.
The Saints were then caught trying to set up for the potential tying goal in the final minute and a fumbled puck at center ice led to a walk-in by Joel Lowry, who picked the upper corner for his fifth of the season as Weninger was trying to get back into position after being up ice in preparation to leave for an extra attacker.
Weninger kept the Saints in the game, making 12 of his 29 saves in the first period while Iles, who saw the first Saint shot of the game whistle over his shoulder, had six saves through the first two periods and then made seven in the third for a game total of 13.
The Saints were perfect on the penalty kill in Saturday's game, stopping Cornell on seven man-up chances, while the Saints scored on one of their five power play opportunities.
SLU will be out to record the 1,000th win in program history when it hosts arch-rival Clarkson at 7 pm Wednesday.