Saints Win Fourth Straight, Down Princeton 4-1
Former Saint player and coach Bob Prier's return to Appleton Arena as Princeton's head hockey coach was not a happy one as Saint Junior captain Kyle Flanagan snapped a 1-1 tie with a power play goal early in the second period and sophomore goaltender Matt Weninger stopped 27 of 28 Princeton shots as SLU skated to a 4-1 ECAC Hockey victory over the Tigers on Saturday afternoon, stretching their unbeaten streak to four games.
The Saints improved to 12-15-3 overall and 8-9-1 in ECAC play and climbed into seventh in the ECAC standings. Princeton is 7-12-6 overall and 5-10-3 in league play after the Saints swept the season series between the two teams.
St. Lawrence, which killed off seven Princeton power plays in Saturday's game including a five-minute major, was perfect in 17 penalty kills in its weekend sweep of the Tigers and Quinnipiac and scored two power play goals of their own in Saturday's win.
"That was a good conclusion to a solid weekend," said Saint associate head coach Mike Hurlbut. "Princeton made us work very hard for what we got, but I thought the guys did an excellent job and won a lot of the battles this afternoon. We would have preferred to have spent less time in the penalty box, but the penalty kill was outstanding and Wenny played another very strong game."
Sophomore Greg Carey scored the first, his 12th of the year and third of the weekend as he one-timed a shot from the faceoff circle past Princeton goalie Sean Bonar off a George Hughes set-up at 12:46 of the first. Hughes took the puck from defenseman Justin Baker and snapped his stick on the pass, but the puck still had enough on it to get to Carey for the shot.
Princeton came back to tie it at 2:40 of the second when Marc Hagel jammed a shot through Weninger's pads from point blank range, but that was the only shot the Tigers could get past the Saint goaltender and SLU took the lead when Flanagan picked the upper corner just under the crossbar from Carey and Chris Martin at 6:23 of the second.
Both Weninger and Bonar came through with big saves to keep it a one-goal game after Flanagan's go-ahead goal, his second game-winner of the year. Bonner stopped Rick Carden from right in front with 8:22 gone and Weninger made a save on Marc Hagel's shorthanded breakaway with 9:35 to go in the second. Bonar also came through with a big save as Carey walked in and tried to lift a backhand over the goalie early in the third.
SLU wrapped it up with a pair of third period goals. The first came with the teams skating four-on-four after a Princeton penalty negated part of a major power play. Sophomore defenseman Riley Austin made a perfect pass from the left faceoff circle, hitting sophomore center Kyle Essery in stride and Essery redirected the puck past Bonar at 9:48 for his seventh of the year. Freshman Patrick Doherty completed the scoring with a wrister from the right circle at 17:29, scoring his sixth of the season.