I have a lot of video for you to enjoy tonight. Let's start with the interviews.
Weninger with a couple good saves
Weninger with two more big saves
Kyle Essery goal
Patrick Doherty goal
Chris Martin goal
LAKE PLACID – St. Lawrence won its feat of strength against Clarkson, 4-1, thanks in large part to goalie Matt Weninger, who was real and spectacular, at the Festivus Faceoff on Saturday at Herb Brooks Arena.
Weninger made 27 saves and allowed only an early second-period goal just four days after surrendering five goals to Clarkson in a conference loss at Appleton Arena.
“I thought I played well tonight,” Weninger said. “It was really what we needed tonight. We had been playing stretches of good hockey and tonight we put it together. We just needed someone back there who was solid.”
Saturday's game is considered nonconference, and the Saints (6-10-0 overall) and Golden Knights (9-7-4) remained tied for third in ECAC Hockey.
Weninger, though, played perhaps as well as he has all season on the 1980 rink. Late in the first period, he kept Clarkson off the board with 10 sensational saves while St. Lawrence killed two penalties. Weninger and the Saints thwarted all five of Clarkson's power plays.
“He continued his strong play tonight,” associate head coach Mike Hurlbut said. “He made the stops when he had to tonight and that's what good goalies do.”
He outshined Clarkson's Paul Karpowich, who has given up seven goals to the Saints in two games. Other than against SLU, Karpowich has been as one of the nation's top goaltenders with a 1.94 goals against average and .938 save percentage.
On Saturday, four different Saints figured him out.
“I think tonight was more us as a team not protecting him or giving him an opportunity to make a save,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. “The bad plays put him precarious situations.”
It started with St. Lawrence's Kyle Essery scoring his fifth goal of the year on a power play at 6 minutes, 28 seconds of the second period for a 1-0 lead.
Clarkson's Corey Tamblyn managed to tie it at 15:01 on the only rebound Weninger didn't control.
“I saw there was an opening in the middle of the ice to me,” Tamblyn said. “The key to the play was just getting a shot on net and luckily it went in.”
St. Lawrence swung the momentum with a Festivus Miracle on ice – Patrick Doherty rocketed a shot from the point over Karpowich's left shoulder. That, too, came on a power play. The Saints are less than 17 percent on the man-advantage but converted on 2-of-7 (28.6 percent) on Saturday.
“The goalie didn't even know I shot it,” Doherty said. “I just put it in the right spot.”
It proved to be the game-winner as Weninger continued his stellar play in net.
“It was huge to come back tonight with a win,” Weninger said. “Even though it's not for conference, it still counts for something.”
Greg Carey, who hadn't scored against Clarkson in his career nor recorded a goal since Nov. 11 against Princeton, put the game away off a Clarkson turnover in its own end less than a minute into the third. Chris Martin added one more at 14:28 to ensure victory.
“Anytime you can score against Clarkson, it's a good feeling,” Carey said of his goal. “I was surprised no one was near me.”
Clarkson had a different take and aired its grievances over Saturday's game.
“It's unfortunate this is our last game before break,” Jones said. “It's a game against our rival where we should have had a better work ethic.”
Both schools take a month-long break in conference until hosting Brown and Yale on Jan. 6 and 7. Hurlbut was pleased with how St. Lawrence responded after losing to Clarkson on Tuesday and is looking to continue to build on that during the break.
“We played 60 minutes tonight,” Hurlbut said. “We had a great second a third period on Tuesday night and we carried that same mentality in here tonight.”