ITHACA, N.Y. — One night after downing eighth-ranked Clarkson, Cornell attempted to take down another ECACHL foe with a top-20 national ranking. However, a third-period power-play goal and a stalwart defensive and goaltending effort late in the game led St. Lawrence to a 2-1 victory.
After losing to Colgate Friday, the Saints captured two key points in the league standings, bolstering their quest for an opening-round bye in the postseason tournament.
“It’s a big win for us. Last night we let one slip away in the third. Emotionally it was pretty important for us to come back like this,” veteran coach Joe Marsh said.
After jumping to an early two-goal lead the previous night, the Cornell Big Red came out with the same high-energy style of play, pressuring the puck and using their bodies.
Once again it paid off early. Midway through the first period, Brendan Nash fired a slapshot from the point via a Mitch Carefoot pass. The rebound was recovered by sophomore Michael Kennedy, who walked the puck around SLU’s Alex Petizian and put it home. Kennedy also had the first goal in the previous night’s game.
The turning point came minutes into the second stanza, when Cornell freshman Blake Gallagher was awarded a penalty shot after being tripped on a breakaway. He deked right and seemingly had Petizian beat glove-side. However, a flop on his back and a precisely positioned glove on the ice stopped a would-be goal.
“That’s my third penalty shot of the year and I’ve stopped all three.” Petizian said. “He came in and deked me, but I guess I had the last word with my glove.”
Less than a minute later St. Lawrence took the lead off a Cornell miscue. A collision between Cornell defenseman in front of the net created a loose puck which Jordan Hack picked up and deposited in the back of the net.
Later in the second Cornell had two power plays but was unable to manage a single shot in either situation. On six total power-play opportunities, the Big Red came out with eight shots and zero goals.
On the other hand, St. Lawrence’s power-play unit came up big when needed. Playing man up midway through the third, Max Taylor carried the puck from behind the net and dragged it right to left in front. He fired a quick shot from the slot which went off the right post and into the back left of the net.
That goal proved to be the game winner, but Cornell was not without its chances late. A St. Lawrence penalty with 2:26 left gave Cornell a golden opportunity to equalize the score, and goalie Ben Scrivens was pulled with around one minute to play giving Cornell a six on four advantage. Playing two men up, Cornell had a wide-open net after a scramble in front, but missed the gimme shot to tie the game.
“I don’t know how we missed the chance. Back door and the goalie was down and out,” Cornell boss Mike Schafer said.
The Big Red had two more faceoffs inside the offensive zone, but the Saints’ defense kept Cornell at bay to secure the win.
“I kept looking up and thinking, ‘That’s the longest 38 seconds in my life,’” Marsh added.