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St. Lawrence rallies for needed victory

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CANTON — Call it, in football parlance, a fantastic finish for the St. Lawrence hockey team on Saturday night.

Sophomore Chris Martin scored two goals in the third period, junior goalie Matt Weninger made 31 saves, and the Saints went on to hold off Brown in the final seconds to post a much-needed 3-2 ECAC Hockey victory before a turnout of 1,427 at Appleton Arena.

St. Lawrence survived a video review on the game’s final play as the Bears’ Nick Lappin rang a shot off the crossbar just as time expired.

After the Saints celebrated the apparent triumph, nearly five minutes passed until officials ruled in St. Lawrence’s favor by ruling no goal.

“It kind of grazed my shoulder and hit the crossbar,” Weninger said of the shot. “The guys said it didn’t go in, but it was a long few minutes waiting for the (ruling). The longer it goes, the more you think they’re going to call it a goal. ... It was terrifying.”

Finally getting a pivotal bounce to go its way in conference play, St. Lawrence (9-10-2, 2-5-2) moved out of last place in the ECAC standings and moved into a tie for ninth with Brown (5-7-4, 1-4-4) and Harvard.

“It’s never easy,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “But this was a big win for us.”

“We got some fortunate bounces at the end,” senior and assistant captain George Hughes said. “I think we played a good second and third periods, but it was a little too close for comfort at the end there.”

After Matt Lorito scored a power-play goal one minute, 30 seconds into the third period to provide Brown with a 2-1 edge, Martin responded with a power-play goal of his own 1:41 later.

The sophomore right wing took a pass from Jordan Dewey and fired a shot between goalie Anthony Borelli’s leg pads at 3:31.

“When you’re in a slump, you just keep working and throw pucks at the net,” said Martin, who snapped an eight-game scoreless streak. “The important thing is we needed this win and it’s a great feeling to help out your team like this.”

Martin struck again for the deciding goal as he converted on a cross-ice pass from Patrick Doherty and snapped the puck over Borelli at 9:48.

“I give all the credit to my linemates on that goal,” Martin said. “We’re working really well together.”

Weninger, who made 14 saves in the third period, endured another close call in the final minute as Dennis Robertson had a chance with the right side of the Saints net left wide open, but misfired. Weninger managed to corral the puck with 7.9 seconds left.

“It was good to get a win and hopefully we can build on this,” Weninger said. “We had a few things go our way, but played very well tonight and I think we deserved this win.”

With the victory, St. Lawrence won its first ECAC game on home ice this season, improving to 1-3-1 and 4-5-1 overall at Appleton Arena.

“This was a good sign of a team that just continues to play their game,” Carvel said. “I thought this weekend we played well in two tight games that could have gone either way ... we just kept battling and got it done.”

The Saints, who play on the road the next two weekends, have 13 league games remaining, including six at home.

“We played real hard against Yale last night,” Martin said of the 4-2 loss on Friday. “It was good to come out tonight and work just as hard and be rewarded with a win.”

Brown settled for a weekend split after defeating Clarkson, 3-2 on Friday.

“It’s a tough one because we were up 2-1 in the third and they got one on the power play,” Brown coach Brendan Whittet said. “It was a 2-2 game on the road, which we’ll take; but it was a good game with chances and hard work on both sides.”

George Hughes benefited from some hard work to tally his first career shorthanded goal just 12 seconds into Brown’s fourth power play. After Sean McGovern stole the puck and worked his way into the Bears’ zone; Hughes one-timed a feed from Kyle Essery past Borelli to open the scoring 14:05 into the second period.

The Bears drew even by capitalizing on a Saints’ turnover at 17:28 of the second period as Lorito cruised in alone and wristed the puck past Weninger.

Earlier, Weninger denied Lorito’s shorthanded breakaway attempt with 13 minutes left in the middle period.

St. Lawrence returns to action at rival Clarkson at 7 p.m. next Saturday.

nNOTES: The Saints won the season series, 1-0-1. … Lappin is the son of former St. Lawrence captain and All-American Peter Lappin. … Essery recorded his first assist of the season and now has nine points (4-5) over his past four games.




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