CANTON, N.Y. — St. Lawrence University built a 4-0 lead through the first 53 minutes of the game and went on to a 4-1 win over Brown in an ECACHL game at Appleton Arena Friday night.
The Saints, now 17-12-2 overall and 11-7-1 in ECACHL play, improved to 11-2-1 overall and 8-1-1 in league play. The win snapped a fourth place tie between the Saints and Harvard, moving SLU into sole possession of fourth, one point out of third with three games to play. The top four teams in the regular season standings receive first round byes. The Saints also split the season series with Brown, now 3-17-6 overall and 2-13-4 in league play, avenging a 3-1 Bear win in November.
St. Lawrence jumped out to the early lead just 2:56 into the game as John Zeiler snapped a shot under the crossbar and over the shoulder of Brown goalie Adam D’Alba on a Saint power play for his 12th goal of the season. D’Alba kept the Saints from increasing the lead, making a dozen first period saves.
Freshman defenseman Jared Ross, returning to the lineup after missing ten games with a knee injury, made it a 2-0 game at 9:22 of the second period as he one-timed a pass from defensive partner Shawn Fensel past D’Alba on a power play. It was the third goal of the year for the Saint rookie.
“It was important to get that two goal lead, particularly the way D’Alba has played against us in the past,” said Saint coach Joe Marsh.
“We have to treat each game like it is a playoff game, and in effect it is, because we are playing for that first round bye. If you get the bye, you have in effect won a first round series. I thought we did an excellent job of staying focused and we made some nice plays offensively.”
Chase Trull made it a 3-0 game at 11:36 of the third period when he snapped the puck past D’Alba after a pretty pass by wing T.J. Trevelyan, who extended his scoring streak to 12 games with the assist. Freshman Kevin DeVergilio then set up classmate Brock McBride with a pass that he looped in the air over a Brown defender and right onto the stick of McBride. McBride walked in on D’Alba and scored his fifth of the year at 13:43.
Brown’s Jeff Prough spoiled Justin Pesony’s shutout bid with a power-play goal for the Bears with five minutes to play.
D’Alba, who went into the game with a 1.66 goals against average and a .952 save percentage in three career starts against the Saints, finished with 37 saves for Brown. Pesony won his 16th of the year with a 25-save night.