A pair of swift strike goals in the third period and a little help from their friends has moved St. Lawrence University’s men’s hockey team into sole possession of second place in the tight ECAC Hockey race with three games left in the regular season.
George Hughes and Greg Carey scored goals just 12 seconds apart in the third to bring the Saints back from a 2-1 deficit and send them on their way to a 4-2 win over Harvard, and that win, coupled with losses by RPI, Dartmouth and Union leaves the Saints alone in second, one point up on RPI and two up on Union with Dartmouth, Clarkson and Yale bunched three points back in a tie for fifth.
The Saint win stretched SLU’s win streak to four straight and snapped a four-game Harvard unbeaten streak. The Saints, 16-11-4 overall and 9-6-4 in league play will host Dartmouth on Saturday and will be out to complete a weekend sweep. The Saints have won at least one game on the final home series of the regular season every year since the ECAC went to travel partners in 1986-87. Harvard is now 7-16-3, 4-13-2 heading into a Saturday game at Clarkson.
SLU, now 8-1-3 in its last 11 games, trailed 2-1 just 1:15 into the third period when Harvard rookie Jimmy Vesey snapped a 1-1 tie with his 11th goal of the year. Hughes tied the game again at 2-2 on a power play blast from the center point which whistled just under the crossbar for his fifth of the season at 8:14 and Carey, who leads Division I nationally in both goals and points, scored his 24th goal of the season on a rush off the faceoff at 8:26 to give the Saints their first lead of the night. Hughes’ goal was his 97th career point as he moves closer to becoming the third defenseman in program history to score 100 points and Carey’s goal pushed his goal-scoring streak to 10 straight games.
Sophomore Patrick Doherty finished off a two-on-one break with his eighth of the year at 14:55, looking off Harvard goalie Raphael Girard before snapping a shot inside the far post to give the Saints a cushion and while the Crimson had a late power play and pulled Girard for an extra attacker, Saint goalie Matt Weninger was able to prevent further scoring, making 13 of his 24 saves in the third period.
Harvard grabbed the early lead in the game as Marshall Everson picked up his 11th of the year, slamming a rebound of a power play shot by Danny Biega back past Weninger at 5:39 of the first, but Saint senior captain Kyle Flanagan scored his 14th of the year as an extra attacker with a delayed penalty being signaled against the Crimson at 11:20 of the first.
Girard finished with 21 saves for Harvard as the Crimson had a 26-25 edge in shots, outshooting the Saints 14-7 in the third period, but SLU had the 3-1 edge in goals in the final 20 minutes.