CANTON — St. Lawrence University played even with No. 3 Cornell for one period, then the Big Red went on to dominate the rest of Saturday’s men’s ECAC Hockey game, knocking off the Saints 6-1 before 592 fans at SUNY Canton. Cornell picked up its first north country road sweep since 2005.
The Saints (3-8-1 overall, 1-3 conference) hung with Cornell in the first period, which ended in a 1-1 tie with both teams producing nine shots.
But once the second period began everything changed, as Cornell (6-0, 4-0) scored three goals and outshot SLU 14-1, with SLU’s only shot coming in the final minute of the period.
“I thought we did a good job (early) and made some adjustments and then we got away from that in the second period and they got a couple quick goals and got momentum and after that point we never regained anything,” Saints coach Brent Brekke said. “Obviously we were on our heels in the second period. (Cornell) is talented. It was going to be a game where puck possession was going to be important, because once you give it up you’ve got to get it back from them, that’s the challenge.”
Cornell, which was coming off a 4-2 win Friday night over Clarkson in what has become a rivalry game, started well Saturday as Morgan Barron scored on a nice pass from Cam Donaldson just 3 minutes, 36 seconds into the game to make it 1-0.
“We knew it was two good teams and it’s never easy, especially coming into an unfamiliar rink,” Barron said. “We were adamant of coming out and having a good start. Once we got that first goal we probably let off the pedal a little bit and thought it was going to be easy, but they are a good team. They pushed back and work really hard.”
Michael Regush nearly gave Cornell a 2-0 lead at 11:38 of the opening period, taking a shot from near that crease that Saints goalie Francis Boisvert blocked with his chest.
Cornell’s Travis Mitchell was called for boarding at 12:32 of the opening period and the Saints responded with a power-play goal from Keenan Suthers at 14:03 to tie the game 1-1. The goal sequence started with a hard shot from the point from Aleksi Peltonen, which hit SLU’s Ryan Garvey. The puck bounced off Garvey to Suthers, who put it in the net.
“We just got a break and Peltonen had a good shot at the net, it hit Garvey there, it was laying on the slot and I was able to get a stick on it,” Suthers said. “We were competing well. It’s a very good team and we were able to respond well after a little bit of a slow start. We felt good coming in after the first.”
Cornell did not score right away in the second period, but possessed the puck throughout the period and finally broke ahead for good when Alex Green scored a power-play goal at the 13-minute mark.
That started a quick flurry that saw Cornell score three goals in 3:01 to put the game out of reach before the second intermission. Yanni Kaldis scored on a rebound of a shot from Donaldson at 14:56 and Liam Motley ended the flurry with a backhander on a breakaway at 16:01.
“We scored the first goal (of the game) and I thought we were going to have an easier night,” Big Red coach Mike Schafer said. “This team, they compete hard, they play at a pace. Our guys didn’t respect that, especially after we scored the first. We got to work hard in the second period and I thought our guys played with that composure and poise. It was a good lesson tonight. Every opponent we play is a tough game.”
Any Saints fan clinging to hope saw it end quickly at the start of the third period as the Big Red tacked on two more goals on a power-play goal from Kyle Betts just 56 seconds into the period followed by a goal from Brenden Locke at 1:23.
The Big Red outshot SLU 26-7 over the final two periods to end with a 35-16 advantage.
“I think we came out a little flat, little thing in the (defensive) zone hurt us and they capitalized on those opportunities, from there it just went downhill,” Garvey said. “I thought we came out (in the first) with great jump, forechecking hard and getting it in on them low, just playing with speed and confidence. That’s something we have to carry into the next weekend.”
CLARKSON 5, COLGATE 1
The Golden Knights (8-3-1, 3-1) responded to a tough loss to Cornell on Friday by dominating special teams play Saturday in an ECAC Hockey win over Colgate before 2,705 fans at Cheel Arena.
Clarkson killed all three of its penalties and then scored three power-play goals to rally from an early deficit against the Raiders (3-6-3, 2-2).
Colgate, which managed only 16 shots, took the lead on an unassisted goal from Jared Cockrell just 3:10 into the game.
Clarkson answered with a power-play goal from Josh Dunne at 9:33 and then Chris Klack gave the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission with an unassisted shorthanded goal at 18:06.
Two more power-play goals in the second period put Clarkson in control, with Haralds Egle scoring at 13:00 and Dunne picked up a second goal at 18:16.
Shane Kuzmeski ended the scoring for Clarkson with an empty-net goal at 19:44 of the third period. Dunne finished with two goals and one assist, Egle registered one goal and two assists and Devin Brosseau assisted on four goals.