Matt Weninger came through with a solid 22 save shutout and his teammates played a dominating third period as St. Lawrence University's men's hockey team skated to a 4-0 win over Rensselaer in Troy on Friday night.
The Saints, 3-1-1 in their last five league games on the road and 5-2-3 in league play overall away from Appleton Arena, went into Friday's game winless in their last three at RPI's Houston Field House, but Weninger was outstanding to record his first career win in the Capital District and the Saints controlled the puck for much of the third period to put the win on ice. It was Weninger's eighth career shutout.
SLU improves to 12-15-4 overall and 6-9-4 in league play, jumping ahead of Harvard and Brown and to within two points of 13-13-5, 7-8-4 RPI in the race for post-season first-round home ice. The Saints are currently eighth and holding the final first-round home ice spot with three games to play.
Neither team scored in a somewhat ragged first period, although both generated some good scoring chances. Matt Weninger came up with a couple of point-blank saves on RPI shots from in tight to keep it a scoreless game and the Saints had a couple of golden opportunities foiled by a hopping puck.
The Saints found shots on goal hard to come by to start the second period as well, but cashed in on one of their first of the period to score the game's first goal. Riley Austin set up Greg Carey in the center slot and Carey unleashed a bomb which RPI goalie Scott Diebold stopped with a pad, but Chris Martin pounced on the rebound and buried it for his second of the year at 7:43, giving the Saints a 1-0 lead.
That same trio collaborated again as Martin fed Austin, who walked in and roofed a shot over the shoulder of Diebold for his first goal of the season at 18:33. Carey picked up his second assist of the night and hit 50 points for the second straight season.
Greg Carey matched his point total from last season with his third assist of the night and his brother Matt scored the 18th goal of his rookie season just 3:30 into the third period with Martin also assisting as the Saints turned around a odd-man rush by RPI and turned it into a goal. The Saint defense stopped RPI's rush and Martin fed the puck to Greg Carey, who broke in on Diebold. While Diebold stopped Greg Carey, he could do nothing about Matt Carey's followup.
The Saints put it on ice at 11:02 as Gunnar Hughes got the puck to Gavin Bayreuther on a Saint penalty kill and Bayreuther flipped the puck out of the zone with Pat Doherty streaking up ice. Doherty took the puck in stride, broke in on Diebold and tucked his ninth of the year and second shorthander of the season past the RPI goalie.
The only question after Doherty's goal was Weninger's shutout, and he made five of his eight third period saves in the waning moments of the period.
The Saints outshot RPI 24-22 including 14-8 in the third period and both teams were scoreless in four power play tries.