Freshman defenseman Eric Sweetman couldn't have picked a better time for his second collegiate goal.
Sweetman, who last scored a goal in game four of the season at Ferris State, fired a shot from just inside the blue line which went over the shoulder of Brown University goalie Tyler Steel and under the crossbar 1:27 into the second overtime period to lift St. Lawrence University to a 3-2 victory in the first of their best-of-three ECAC Hockey playoff series at Appleton Arena Friday night.
Sweetman's goal, his first in 30 games, came after senior Jeremy Wick worked the puck away from a Brown defender and slid it back to the rookie blueliner who was about three strides inside the blue line. His shot ended the game after the Saints had spent the entire 1:27 in the Brown end.
It was a tough loss for Steel, who made 43 saves in the game and was brilliant in the first overtime with six of his 11 saves coming on a Saint power play.
The Saints, now 14-17-4, can end the series with a win on Saturday night, while Brown, 11-16-3, will try to extend it to a game three on Sunday night. The Saints and Bears are now even in the season series with a win each to go with a tie.
St. Lawrence dominated the game through regulation time, but Steel kept Brown in it and sophomore Nick Lappin tied the score with Steel pulled for an extra attacker with just under 55 seconds to go in regulation time.
Neither team scored in a tight-checking first period which saw both teams muster just 12 shots on goal between them. Saint captain Kyle Essery opened the scoring when he took a goal mouth pass from Alex Dahl and tucked the puck past Steel 4:41 into the second, and while Brown came back to tie on Zach Pryzbek's third goal of the season in a scramble at 14:00, the Saints regained the lead on a five-on-three power play as senior wing Greg Carey scored his 16th of the year.
Carey, the ECAC regular-season scoring champion for the second straight year, took a pass from defenseman Justin Baker and one-timed the puck past Steel at 18:46 to give the Saints the lead. It stayed that way until Lappin, the son of SLU two-time All America and all-time scoring leader Pete Lappin, connected from just outside the crease with the extra attacker at 19:05 to make it a 2-2 game after regulation time.
Saint senior goalie Matt Weninger had his busiest period of the night in the first overtime as he made 13 of his
26 saves as both teams opened up the offense. Steel had 11 in the first overtime and three more to start the second before Sweetman ended it after 81:27 of play.