CANTON, N.Y. — Vic Pereira scored one power-play goal and assisted on another to lead Rensselaer to a 3-2 ECAC Hockey League victory at St. Lawrence Friday night, snapping a five-game Saint win streak and ending a long string of Engineer losses in Canton.
RPI, which had lost five straight games heading into Friday’s encounter, won for the first time on St. Lawrence’s ice since February of 1997, snapping a string of seven straight losses to the Saints in Canton. The win also snapped a four-game Saint win streak in the series between the two teams. The Engineers improve to 10-14-2 overall and 3-9-1 in the ECACHL while the Saints are now 12-10-1 and 6-5 in ECACHL play.
“It was a nice win for us,” said Periera. “It’s nice to get that feeling again.”
“RPI did an excellent job on special teams,” said Saint coach Joe Marsh. “We knew they had an outstanding power play and they showed it tonight. They also did a great job against our power play which was a big part of our winning streak. They pressured the points and took away a lot of shooting lanes.”
The Engineers scored the lone goal of the first period midway through when Kirk MacDonald snapped a cross-crease pass to Nick Economakos, who was all alone at the side of the net. Economakos one-timed his sixth of the season from point-blank range at 10:25 for the 1-0 lead.
RPI took a 2-0 lead at 7:21 of the second when freshman Jonathan Ornelas scored his third of the season on a power play with a shot which snuck just inside the far post after getting a nice pass from Pereira, but the Saints had a quick answer for that as junior T.J. Trevelyan took the puck off a Kyle Rank faceoff win and picked the upper corner for his 15th of the year just 57 seconds later.
Matt McNeely sent a pass to MacDonald who fired from the blueline on a RPI power play just 1:43 into the third period. Pereira, who was providing a screen, got his stick and the tip for the goal and a 3-1 lead.
Engineer goalie Andrew Martin, who finished the night with 32 saves while Saint goalie Mike McKenna had 17 stops in the game, made the two-goal margin stand heading into the final minute when the Saints cut the lead to 3-2 on John Zeiler’s seventh of the year with McKenna pulled for an extra attacker. Zeiler’s goal came with 44 seconds to play, and while the Saints kept McKenna on the bench, they could not come up with the equalizer.
“Our effort was solid tonight, but we didn’t put the puck on the net,” said Marsh. “We had a lot of good chances that sailed just high or just wide. We’ve got to put it behind us and try to salvage a split out of the weekend.”
The Saints will host Union on Saturday while the Engineers go to Clarkson.