CANTON, N.Y. — Junior center Byron Bitz scored a power-play goal with 5:46 to go in regulation time to lift Cornell to a 4-4 tie with St. Lawrence University in an ECACHL game at Appleton Arena Saturday night.
Cornell came back from a 3-0 deficit to earn the tie and maintained its lead in the ECACHL with a 16-5-4 overall record and an 11-4-3 league mark. St. Lawrence, which scored more than two goals against Cornell for the first time since a 3-1 win in the 2001 ECAC championship game, is now 16-12-2 and 10-7-1 and took three out of four points on the weekend.
The Saints scored two first-period goals, the first 1:01 into the game and the second with 59.9 seconds to play in the period. Freshman defenseman Matt Generous scored the game’s first goal at 1:01 when he pinched in and picked up a rebound of a hard shot by rookie center Kevin DeVergilio, snapping a shot over the shoulder of Cornell goalie David McKee for his fourth of the year. Senior wing T.J. Trevelyan made it a 2-0 game with just under a minute to go in the first, running his scoring streak to 11 games with his 16th of the year. Senior defenseman Mike Madill started the scoring play with a shot that McKee got a piece of, but Trevelyan tucked away the rebound in traffic.
The Saints made it a 3-0 game just 16 seconds into the second period when Trevelyan scored his second of the night with a rocket from a tough angle, but Cornell battled back into contention. Defenseman Ryan O’Bryne scored his sixth of the season on a power-play shot, which snuck just inside the post at 6:26, and Mitch Carefoot scored his sixth of the year when the Saints couldn’t cover a loose puck at the side of the net and Carefoot poked it past Saint goalie Justin Pesony at 9:12.
“We were riding pretty high when we got the three-goal lead, but you have to give Cornell credit for battling back,” said Saint coach Joe Marsh. “They took advantage of a couple of breaks and earned the point. I thought both teams worked real hard from start to finish.”
The Big Red tied the game for the first time 7:22 into the third period when Cam Abbott snapped a power-play shot past Pesony for his third of the year, but the Saints retook the lead with their lone power-play goal in ten chances midway through the period. Freshman defenseman Shawn Fensel scored his fourth of the season from the point at 10:13 to give the Saints a 4-3 lead.
Bitz then took advantage of an opening when a Saint penalty killer was hauled down in the Saint defensive end and fired a shot into the far corner of the cage to make it 4-4. While both teams had opportunities in the final five minutes and the overtime, neither could break the deadlock.
McKee had 39 saves for the Big Red, four of them in the overtime, while Pesony, who stopped Abbott’s shorthanded breakaway with 4:40 to go in regulation, finished with 23 saves for the Saints.
“It was a lot like a playoff game, but then it always is when you play Cornell. We would have liked the win, but if we can keep playing the way we did this weekend, the points will come our way,” Marsh said.