CANTON, N.Y. — After the Rensselaer Engineers tied the game with 1:03 left in the third period, the St. Lawrence Saints came back to win in overtime on a Blair Clarance backhander, thereby moving into first place in the ECAC.
In overtime, after the Engineers failed to clear the zone, Matt Desrosiers came down the far wall and put it in front. After it went off Russ Bartlett, Clarance took a quick backhander that hit Nathan Marsters’ glove before reaching the net for the winner.
“Clarance scoring, that is huge for us,” said Saint head coach Joe Marsh. “As a team we need to have a lot of guys stepping it up.”
“We should have had that puck out of the zone,” said Engineer head coach Dan Fridgen. “We had control of it and their ‘D’ keeps it in because our winger allowed him to pinch down. That puck should have been out of the zone.”
The Engineers got on the board first as a power play expired. With St. Lawrence getting a man back, the Engineers had the puck down low. Marc Cavosie fed it out front to a pinching Scott Basiuk, who one-timed it past Jeremy Symington for the 1-0 lead.
The Saints would quickly tie the game on the power play after working the puck deep. Mike Gellard found Erik Anderson, whose one-timer went in on the glove side of Marsters as the goalie couldn’t get across the crease in time.
The Engineers (13-10-2, 7-6-2 ECAC) retook the lead later in the first period when Cavosie and Ryan Shields worked the puck into the corner. Shields skated away with the puck and his wraparound attempt popped up in the air off Symington, then rolled down his back and into the net for the 2-1 lead.
After a scoreless second period, the Saints took only 53 seconds of the third to tie the game 2-2. After a scrum in front, Al Fyfe found the puck and put it into the open net as Marsters was held up by a mass of players in the crease.
The Saints then took the lead at 3-2 on a 5-on-3 power play later in the period. A quick pass across the slot from Gellard to Fyfe resulted in a one-timer that beat Marsters.
The game would stay that way until 1:03 left, when the Engineers tied the game with Marsters pulled. The puck was kept in at the blue line by Jim Vickers, and after a Cavosie shot was saved by Symington, the puck found its way to Matt Murley. He slammed the puck under Symington’s left pad to tie the game.
“We could have done a better job on the power play, but it comes down to capitalizing,” said Fridgen. “When you have a team down, especially in their building, and you really want to put the stake through their heart, you have to capitalize.
“And I don’t think this is a team that can go for the jugular.”
The win for the Saints (12-9-4, 9-3-3 ECAC) moved them into first place after a Cornell loss to Princeton.
“It’s where you want to be, obviously,” said Marsh. “Anytime you don’t need help from anybody, it’s great.
“It’s better than not being there, I guess.”