CANTON, N.Y. — Cornell sophomore wing Cam Abbott won a race to a long lead pass with 5:20 to play in the second period and scored his second goal of the season to lift the Big Red to a 2-1 win over St. Lawrence on Saturday night.
In a tight-checking affair, scoring opportunities at even strength were hard to come by. So Cornell took a chance, as Jeremy Downs floated a home-run pass in the air, as Abbott went stride for stride with the defender. With a bit of a fortuitous bounce thrown in, Abbott had the puck land on his stick, and he was able to sneak around the defender and tuck a backhander past St. Lawrence goalie Mike McKenna.
Cornell clamped down defensively the rest of the evening, though it did have to fend of a number of good scoring chances by the Saints on the power play.
St. Lawrence receives its last best chance when Cornell took a penalty with just over two minutes remaining. However, just 30 seconds into the power play, Cornell captain Ryan Vesce’s strong penalty killing enabled him to spring Mike Knoepfli for a rush. And when Knoepfli tried to return a pass, Vesce drew a penalty.
Still, as St. Lawrence pulled the goaltender for an extra skater and a 5-on-4 situation, the Saints got some quality chances in the closing minute, including a one-timer by leading scorer T.J. Trevelyan that was stopped by Big Red goalie David McKee.
The win gave Cornell (3-1-2, 3-0-1 ECAC) a three-point weekend on its North Country trip. The Saints (3-7-3, 2-2-2) had a modest two-game home win streak snapped.
Cornell was 0-for-5 on the power play, and 0-for-9 for the weekend. But killed off all eight shorthanded chances it faced.
The Saints grabbed an early lead as sophomore John Zeiler was credited with his fourth goal of the season just 1:26 into the game when the puck came out of McKee’s glove and ended up in the net. Cornell argued that Zeiler smacked the puck out of McKee’s glove, and that the play should either have been blown dead, or considered to have been knocked down with a high stick.
Cornell, which did not have a shot on net in the first 11 minutes, tied it on its third shot of the game as sophomore Matt Moulson banged a rebound past McKenna at 11:25 for his fifth of the year. The play was set up off a clean win of a faceoff by Vesce. He had done the same thing just seconds earlier, winning a draw to Charlie Cook at the point, only to see Cook’s shot smothered by McKenna. On the ensuing faceoff, Vesce did the same thing, but this time Cook brought it down the left wing and behind the goal line, before throwing it in front where Moulson was planted.