PRINCETON, N.J. — St. Lawrence had a Happy Valentines Day in South Jersey, topping ninth ranked Princeton by a 3-1 count in a matinee contest before a crowd of 1,933 at Hobey Baker Memorial Rink.
The visiting Saints, who won for the sixth time in seven outings and garnered a split of the season series, now sit in fifth place in the ECAC Hockey League standings and just five points behind the second place Tigers, who saw their four game winning string come to an end.
I thought it was an excellent game, said Princeton coach Guy Gadowsky. I thought both teams played well. It was a fun game to watch, quick and fast, and sort of what Ive come to expect from a Joe Marsh team.
Junior goaltender Alex Petizian made it all possible for St. Lawrence (16-11-3, 8-7-3 ECAC) as he stopped 40 shots, including 33 saves through the first 40 minutes alone. Zane Kalemba finished with 24 stops for Princeton (18-7-0, 12-6-0 ECAC).
Alex did a great job in both games this weekend, and made some really big saves at critical times, said St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh. Today was one of our biggest wins of the year, and this is a tough place to play.
The Saints struck first at 8:53 of the opening period. Jared Keller knocked the puck away from a Princeton player near the Tigers cage, and Mark Armstrong grabbed it and stuffed it past Kalemba at the left post for his third goal of the season.
We had a few real good chances, said Marsh. Our defense gets involved in the offense, and makes it easier on our forwards and opens things up.
Keller then helped St. Lawrence make it a 2-0 affair just over five minutes later. Aaron Bogosian skated into the high slot, took a pass from Keller, and scored off the rush as he wristed his third goal of the year past Kalembas stick at 14:07.
Petizian, who finished the period with 17 saves, made his biggest stop of the opening stanza when he denied Princetons Kevin Lohry on a partial breakaway with 5:18 left.
I felt good with every save, said Petizian, who improved to 12-8-3 on the year with wins this weekend over Quinnipiac and Princeton. We got a two goal cushion, and that made it easier on me.
Petizian added to his ledger early in the second session. He made a stick save on Kevin Kaisers quick snap shot from the right circle with 15:04 left, and then snared Mike Kramers shot off a breakaway with 14:33 left. Kramer took a long pass at center ice and then walked in alone and tried to go glove side, but was nullified.
I saw the puck very well, and our defense cleared away the second and third chances and made my job easier, said Petizian.
Princeton continued to pepper Petizian, but he continued to flash out a glove, pad or stick to turn aside every Tiger try even as Princeton went on three second period power plays.
The home team finally broke through on the man-advantage at 12:45. After Mike McKenzie drew a penalty for high-sticking at 12:16, Kalemba pushed the puck up to Dan Bartlett, who fed Lee Jubinville in the St. Lawrence zone. Jubinville then pulled up in the right circle and put a wrist shot inside the far post for his seventh goal of the season, and second score in two games.
Princeton has a great team, and they go to the net hard, said Marsh. They have unbelievable discipline that helps dictate the pace of the game, and they play with a real heightened sense of purpose.
Neither team could get one past either goaltender in a penalty-free final period, although the Saints came close a couple of times. St. Lawrence senior Brock McBride fired a shot just wide of the right post off of a 2-on-1 with McKenzie, and then Jeremiah Cunningham pounced on an errant puck right in front of the Princeton net with six minutes remaining in regulation, but was denied point-blank by Kalemba.
Princeton finally pulled Kalemba for an extra attacker with a minute left, in an attempt to avoid its fifth home loss of the season; but McKenzie put matters to rest just seven seconds later when he picked up a loose puck by the St. Lawrence bench and flipped it down the ice where it clanged off the left post and into the empty net for his 13th of the year.
Its four points, said Petizian of the weekend. We beat two good teams, and it feels good to get two wins on the road and move up in the standings.
I thought we played one of our better games, even though we didnt win, said Gadowsky. With that effort most nights, well be successful; but St. Lawrence also has an excellent hockey team.
The Tigers continue their four game home stand on Friday against Brown, while the Saints will host Harvard that same evening.