Sophomore wing Chris Martin snapped out of a goal-scoring slump with two third period goals and St. Lawrence junior goaltender Matt Weninger came up big and got some help from the post in a wild final minute as the Saints held off Brown 3-2 in a ECAC Hockey game at Appleton Arena Saturday night.
Martin, who scored 10 goals as a rookie had not found the net since a Nov. 16 game against Princeton, a nine-game drought, but scored his fifth and sixth of the season in the third period to overcome a 2-1 Brown lead and give the Saints their second ECAC win of the year. SLU improves to 9-10-2 overall and 2-5-2 in league play while Brown drops to 5-7-4 overall and is now 2-3-4 in the league.
While the Bears kept Saint scoring stars Matt Carey and Kyle Flanagan off the scoreboard, just the third time this season that has happened, Martin came through to provide the offense the Saints needed for their first league win of the new year.
Neither team scored in a first period which featured 23 shots on goal, but perfect goaltending by both Weninger (10 saves) and Brown's Anthony Borelli (13). The Saints finally cracked Borelli at 14:05 of the second when rookie Sean McGovern broke away on a shorthanded rush and got a pass away to junior Kyle Essery, Essery in turn dropped the puck to senior defenseman George Hughes who gunned his first career shorthanded goal and third goal this season past Borelli for a 1-0 Saint lead.
It didn't last long ass Brown sophomore Matt Lorito took advantage of a defensive turnover by the Saints and gunned his 11th of the season past Weninger, unassisted at 17:28 to make it a 1-1 game heading into the third period. Lorito then put the Bears in front just 1:30 into the period and 32 seconds into the fifth Brown power play of the night as he scored from Chris Zaires and Dennis Robertson to give Brown a 2-1 lead.
Martin tied it again on a Saint power play at 3:11 of the third as he took a pass from senior defenseman Jordan Dewey and scored from the short right slot and he netted the eventual game winner at 9:48 as he took a pass from Patrick Doherty and snapped a shot over Borelli's shoulder.
Both goalies made some big saves in the final 10 minutes to keep it a 3-2 game, including a one-on-one stop by Weninger on Nick Lappin with 2:15 to go in regulation. The Bears pulled Borelli for an extra attacker with just over a minute to go and had some chances including a wide open net, but Weninger got across and made a poke check to break up a potential scoring play. Weninger and the Saints had to sweat out a video review after time expired as a shot by Lappin was looked at by the referees, but it had hit the post and not crossed the goal line in the final nine seconds of regulation time.
Weninger finished with 31 saves for the Saints including a shorthanded breakaway stop on Lorito, the Bear's leading scorer, while Borelli had 30 saves for Brown.