Weninger shines as Saints upend Quinnipiac 3-2
Senior goaltender Matt Weninger continued to weave a spell at Quinnipiac's Highpoint Solutions Arena, making 31 saves for his third straight win in that venue as St. Lawrence rallied from a 2-1 deficit with a pair of third period goals and a 3-2 win over the third-ranked Bobcats.
St. Lawrence swept a weekend series for the first time since early November and took four points in the ECAC standings for just the second time this season. The Saints, now 6-1-1 in their last eight against Quinnipiac won their fourth straight in Hamden and Weninger won his third straight, allowing only three goals on 99 shots in the three games. He won 1-0 in overtime in his sophomore season at Quinnipiac and snapped the then number-one ranked Bobcats' 21-game unbeaten streak with a 2-1 win a year ago. He had 31 saves in Saturday's victory, several of them spectacular ones as the Saints had to come up big defensively and on the penalty kill in the third period.It was the seventh win of the season over a team currently ranked in the top 20 nationally and SLU also has two ties against teams with national rankings.
Quinnipiac had three power plays in the final four minutes including 1:14 of five-on-three and a final 50 seconds with a power play and the goaltender pulled, but the Saint penalty killers and Weninger kept the Bobcats from finding the equalizer.
Quinnipiac scored the only goal of a fast-paced first period as Matthew Peca took advantage of a bounce off the post which came back out past Weninger's pads and right onto his stick for a goal with just 1:10 to go in the period. Saint freshman defenseman Gavin Bayreuther, who had a five-point weekend, scored is seventh of the year on a shot to the upper corner from Jeremy Wick and Gunnar Hughes at 10:35 of the second to tie it at 1-1 heading into the final 20 minutes.
Bryce Van Brabant scored his 13th of the year on a Quinnipiac power play 1:41 into the third period as the puck bounced off the chest of a Saint defender and right in front of Van Brabant at the top of the blue, but the Saints battled back to take the lead.
Brian Ward finished off an odd-man rush with his second goal of the weekend, redirecting a perfect pass from Drew Smolcynski past QU goalie Michael Garteig at 14:32 and just 1:12 later the Saints had the lead as Justin Baker scored his eighth of the season, knocking a rebound of a Greg Carey shot into the net with Matt Carey also assisting on the power play to give the Saints the win.