Harvard tops Saints, home ice on the line Saturday
Harvard University sophomore goaltender Raphael Girard shut down St. Lawrence's offense and the Crimson picked up an insurance goal early in the third period en route a 4-1 win over the Saints in a game which sets up a big final night of the regular season for both teams.
Harvard, 9-8-11 overall and 7-5-9 in league play will play Clarkson with a first-round bye at stake in the ECAC tournament while St. Lawrence, 13-17-3 and 9-11-1 in league play, will play for a first round home ice bid when they play at Dartmouth on Saturday. The Saints and Dartmouth go into Saturday's game tied for the eighth and final home ice spot in the first round.While the Saints did an excellent job against a potent Harvard power play, holding the Crimson, which came into the game scoring at a 29.5 clip with the man advantage, scoreless in five chances, but the SLU power play sputtered and that, combined with Girard's goaltending, were key factors in the game.
"He made some big saves and we over skated a couple of rebounds," said Saint associate head coach Mike Hurlbut. "You have to give Harvard a lot of credit. They worked really hard along the boards and in the corners and took advantage of their opportunities on the offensive end.
"We've got a lot to play for Saturday, and hopefully the guys respond with a big night at Dartmouth."
The Saints had an early major power play and did convert with five seconds left in the man advantage as Riley Austin scored his second of the year from Kyle Flanagan and Greg Carey at 6:10, but subsequent tries came up empty.
Harvard tied the game just 1:05 after the Saint goal when David Valek tipped a shot from the point by defenseman Danny Biega and the puck eluded Matt Weninger's try at a glove save and the Crimson went in front at 15:39 when Eric Kroshus tapped a puck just over the goal line in a scramble in front of the Saint net after a turnover down low.
Neither team scored in the second period as Girard held off the Saints, who had a 14-8 edge in shots on goal and the Crimson scored a big one when Valek scored his second of the night after a turnover deep in the Saint end at 3:33. The Crimson added an empty net goal by defenseman Patrick McNally with 34 seconds to go.
Weninger finished with 23 saves for the Saints while Girard had 31 for Harvard which outshot the Saints 9-5 in the third.