CANTON, N.Y. — Blair Clarance scored two goals and assisted on the third as St. Lawrence maintained its
one-point lead in the ECAC hockey race with a 3-2 win over Cornell Friday night.
The Saints improve to 15-10-4 overall and 12-4-3 in the ECAC, while Cornell is now 12-9-5 overall and 10-6-3 in the ECAC. St. Lawrence leads Clarkson by a single point and has a four point lead on Cornell and clinched home ice for the upcoming playoffs with the win. The victory was the 300th men’s coaching victory in the 16-year career of Saint coach Joe Marsh.
The Saints were without senior center Erik Anderson for the game after he sustained an ankle injury last weekend at Brown.
“It was a huge win for us, particularly in that we didn’t have Erik for the game. We needed people to step up, and the line of Clarance, Robin Carruthers and Charlie Daniels certainly did that,” said Marsh. “All four lines did a good job tonight and we got another big game from
Jeremy Symington. It was the kind of game you want late in the seasonit was a playoff game a couple of weeks early.
“We’ve accomplished one goal for the season in that we have home ice, now we just want to keep trying to get a little better every night as we go into the playoffs.”
The Saints scored the only goal of the first period when Clarance beat the Cornell defense to a loose puck at the goal mouth and tapped the puck into the net for his eighth goal of the season at 11:09. Junior wing Robin Carruthers started the scoring play with a hard shot from the top of the faceoff circle which Cornell goalie Matt Underhill got part of, but couldn’t smother the rebound.
The Saints made it a 2-0 hockey game at 8:37 of the second period when Carruthers took Charlie Daniels’ pass, cut in front of the net and snapped a shot just under the crossbar, but the Big Red got that one back at 17:25 when Andrew McNiven found Stephen Baby coming out of the penalty box after serving a minor and hit him with a lead pass. Baby soloed and tucked his seventh of the year just inside the far post.
Clarance gave the Saints a two-goal cushion at 14:55 of the third when he took a pass from Daniels while cutting down the slot and rifled a shot past Underhill, but Cornell made it interesting when it pulled Underhill for an extra attacker with 1:40 to go and scored a power play goal on a shot by defenseman Mark McRae with 54 seconds to go.
Cornell pushed for the equalizer with Underhill out of the net for the final 48 seconds, but could not get another shot on Saint goalie Jeremy Symington, who finished with 36 saves. Underhill had 29 stops for the Big Red.