Saints' Carey, Wick, Weninger snap streak against Union
Greg Carey and Jeremy Wick continued lengthy goal-scoring streaks and Matt Weninger made 17 of his 39 saves in the third period as St. Lawrence University's men's hockey team exorcised some demons and made a leap in the standings with a 4-2 win over Union College, ranked 18th nationally, in a ECAC Hockey game at Appleton Saturday night..
St. Lawrence snapped a seven-game losing streak dating back to 2009 against the Dutchmen and finally got some shots past Union junior goaltender Troy Grosenick, who shut the Saints out in both games between the two teams last year. Union had dominated the series between the two teams since a Saint sweep in the 2009 season, culminating in 2-0 and 6-0 wins in last year's games. It is the fourth win over a team in the top 20 at the time of the game for the Saints this season.The win gives the Saints a split of their weekend series and moves them into a tie for fifth in the ECAC with Dartmouth and Union, all with 16 points and just one point out of a tie for third. SLU is 13-11-4 overall and 6-6-4 in league play while Union is 13-10-5, and also 6-6-4.
Carey and Wick, who are wings on the Saints' first line each pushed their goal scoring streaks to seven games with power play goals to help the Saints to the victory. Carey, who leads the nation in goal scoring and the ECAC in points, scored his 20th of the year from Wick and defenseman Justin Baker at 12:19 of the first period to start a flurry of three Saint goals in just over six minutes. Carey now has seven goals and seven assists for 14 points in his last seven games. Sophomore Tommy Thompson scored the only even-strength goal of the game on a shot from right in front at 16:14 as he first cleared the puck the length of the ice on goal, and when Grosenick cleared the puck to the corner, Kyle Essery pounced on it and fed Thompson, who was alone in front. Union backup goaltender Colin Stevens was greeted by a power play goal from the Saints Gunnar Hughes at 18:56 to make it 3-0 after one. Hughes picked up a rebound of a shot by defenseman Pat Raley and tucked it past the new Union goalie for his sixth of the season and the eventual game winner.
Grosenick returned to goal for the second period and made several big saves on Saint power plays to keep Union in contention. The Dutchmen broke the scoring ice at 15:34 of the second period when defenseman Mat Bodie scored his fourth of the season on a power play as the puck bounced off a Saint defender and just inside the right post. Union cut it to 3-2 on another power play chance 2:25 into the third when Daniel Carr picked the upper corner, but Weninger turned in a strong final 17 minutes and the Saints gave him some breathing room when Wick went hard to the net and scored his 12th of the year on a power play at 9:46 to make it a 4-2 game. Kyle Flanagan and Carey assisted on the play, sending Wick in from the left side and he cut in front and put the puck under Grosenick's glove. He now has eight goals and four assists in his last seven games.
Union pulled Grosenick for an extra attacker with 1:52 to play in regulation time and while the Dutchmen got five shots on goal in the final minute, Weninger stopped them all. Grosenick finished with 23 saves on 26 shots while Stevens stopped one of two for Union. The Saints went three of eight on the power play and scored on six of 14 tries with the man advantage in the two weekend games.