St. Lawrence University's men's hockey team had a chance to make something happen in its Friday night ECAC matchup at number-one ranked Quinnipiac and it did, handing the Bobcats their first loss in 20 games and delaying the presentation of the Cleary Cup for at least one more night.
Junior wing Greg Carey scored a pair of goals and goaltender Matt Weninger and the Saint defense shut down Quinnipiac's offense in a furious third period as the Saints upended the Bobcats 2-1 at a sold-out TD Bank North Center.
Carey scored the eventual game winner 2:30 into the third period, his second of the night and 22nd of the season, snapping Quinnipiac's 19-game unbeaten streak and handing the Bobcats their first league loss of the year. The Saints, 6-1-3 in their last 10 improve to 14-11-4 overall and 7-6-4 while Quinnipiac is 21-4-4 overall and 14-1-2 in league play. The game was the first meeting for the Saints with a team ranked number one nationally since 1996, and like the previous one, a 2-0 Appleton Arena win over Boston University, the Saints came away a winner.
A big part of the win was Weninger, who improved to 3-1-0 in his career against the Bobcats and improved on a 2.96 goals against average. The Saint junior continued to shine in Quinnipiac's TD Bank North Arena as he has allowed just one goal in two games in the building and stopped 64 of 65 shots with a 1-0 overtime win last season and this year's 2-1 win. He needed some huge saves among 17 in the third period as Quinnipiac pressed to tie the game and had a pair of power play opportunities. The Saint defense chipped in with eight blocked shots in the third period as Quinnipiac attempted 30 shots in the final 20 minutes.
Carey, who has now scored goals in eight straight games, gave the Saints the early lead as he took a pass from the sideboards by Jeremy Wick and was all alone in front of Quinnipiac goaltender Eric Hartzell. Carey went upper corner over Hartzell's shoulder for his 21st of the season with Kyle Flanagan also assisting at 4:37.
Qunnipiac dodged a bullet in the first period when it was able to kill off a major power play, and the Bobcats came back to tie at 13:47 of the first when Jordan Samuels-Thomas got a step on a Saint defender and walked in on Weninger, putting the puck past his diving effort at a stop from point blank range.
The second period was scoreless and close to the vest as the two teams managed just 11 shots on goal between them despite a spate of penalties.
Carey snapped the 1-1 tie with his second of the night, recording his fourth game winner of the year and tenth of his career as freshman Sean McGovern chipped the puck away from a Quinnipiac defender and it went to Carey, who walked out of the corner and again went high on Hartzell for the goal at the 2:30 mark.
That lead held the rest of the way despite Quinnipiac's determined efforts to pull even. The Bobcats pulled Hartzell for an extra attacker with 1:43 to go, but the few shots they could get past sliding Saint defenders were turned away by Weninger.