Saint senior goaltender Matt Weninger is building some kind of record against the University of Maine.
Weninger held the Black Bears to a single goal for the second straight game and has stopped 91 of 93 shots in winning three straight against Maine after backstopping the Saints to a 3-1 win at Appleton Arena in the season opener for both teams.
Weninger, making his 50th consecutive start dating back to February of his sophomore year, finished with 25 saves as the Saints won their home opener for the second straight season and improved to 13-3-3 on the first home weekend of the season over the last ten years. It was also the third straight win for the Saints over Maine and their first in Canton against the Black Bears since 1984.
Junior Patrick Doherty provided the game-winner when he broke into the Maine zone and sniped a shot into the upper corner just under two minutes after Maine had tied the game 1-1 early in the second period.
The Saints grabbed a first period lead when freshman defenseman Gavin Bayreuther took advantage a puck that rolled off the end of the stick of Saint All America Greg Carey. The puck rolled right into the deep slot and Bayreuther picked it up in stride as he pinched in from the point, snapping a shot into the empty cage as Maine senior goalie Martin Ouellette could not get back across from the opposite post. Bayreuther's first collegiate goal came at 13:07 and gave the Saints a 1-0 lead after one.
Freshmen Brian Morgan and Blaine Byron collaborated on Maine's first goal of the season, tying the game at 1-1 1:48 into the second as Byron tucked his first collegiate goal between Weninger's pad and the post on an up-ice rush. Defensemen Justin Baker and Eric Sweetman worked the puck out of the Saint end just under two minutes later and sent Doherty in alone on Ouellette. Doherty snapped a shot into the upper corner for his 16th career goal to give the Saints a 2-1 lead at 3:40. Sophomore Brian Ward, playing his first collegiate season after transferring, scored his first collegiate goal to give the Saints a 3-1 lead at 13:14 as he collected a second rebound off a shot by freshman Woody Hudson and tucked the puck past Oullette.
Neither team scored in the third period despite a number of power play chances as Weninger closed out the win with eight saves and Ouellette made 12 of his 28 for the game. Weninger came up with a couple of key one-on-one saves to protect the Saint lead and got some help from his defense as the Saints blocked a dozen shots during the course of the game.
The two teams will play a rematch Saturday night at 7 pm.