Rensselaer took advantage of St. Lawrence defensive mistakes to skate to a 5-3 ECAC Hockey victory over the Saints at Houston Field House Saturday night, snapping a three-game winless streak against SLU and gaining a key ECAC victory.
The Saints, 6-10-3 overall and 3-6-0 in ECAC play, played the nationally tenth-ranked Engineers even, but turnovers led to three of the five RPI goals as RPI improved to 12-5-3 on the season and 4-4-0 in league play.
SLU played short on defense after Jordan Dewey was knocked out of action after being boarded early in the second period, dropping forward Mac Stratford back to help out
"You can't fault the effort, but we did make some defensive coverage mistakes that cost us," said Saint coach Joe Marsh. "Matt Weninger made some great saves, but he was hung out to dry a couple of times and a talented team like RPI is going to take advantage of those opportunities."
The Saints got two goals and an assist from freshman Greg Carey and had an apparent goal waved off after review. Two goals in the game were reviewed and while RPI's stood after a conversation with the goal judge, the Saints' apparent goal was disallowed without a consultation with the goal judge, who kept the light on long after the referee had waved off the goal.
The Saints took a lead just 43 seconds into the game when Carey one-timed a pass from Kyle Flanagan from behind the goal line, snapping the puck into the net off the crossbar and far post before RPI goalie Allen York could react. The Engineers came back to tie just seconds after a good Saint power play effort came up empty. Johnny Rogic took advantage of a turnover just inside the Saint blue line and put a hard shot along the ice which beat Weninger to tie it at 1-1 at the 10:52 mark.
The Engineers took the lead with 42.8 seconds to go in the first period after a review and conversation with the goal judge. Jeff Foss took a shot from the right point to the upper left corner of the cage. While the goal light flashed, the referee immediately waved it off, but that was overturned and it was ruled that the puck had gone into the net for Foss' first goal of the season.
George Hughes tied the game at 2-2 at the 4:00 mark of the second period, converting on a five-on-three power play with a hard shot along the ice with Justin Baker and Carey assisting, but RPI countered with a five-on-three power play goal of its own as Patrick Cullen picked up a rebound off the crossbar and put it away with just one second to go in the two-man advantage at 8:31. Greg Burgdorfer was allowed to walk in from the top of the faceoff circle in the Saint defensive end unmolested at 12:45 and he buried a rocket to make it a 4-2 game, but Kyle Flanagan picked the puck up after a Weninger save and sent Carey in alone on York with Carey burying his second of the game and 12th of the seaon at 13:22 to make it 4-3 after two.
It stayed that way until the 14:40 mark of the third when Chase Polacek got behind the Saint defense on a two-on-one and scored his 10th of the year to give RPI the 5-3 lead and while the Saints pulled Carey for the extra attacker in the final 1:30, they couldn't cut into the final margin.