Rookies lead Saints mens' hockey in loss at Princeton
Three first-year forwards scored for the St. Lawrence University men's hockey team on Friday night, including Cameron Buhl, who notched the first of his career, but the Saints fell to Princeton 6-3 at Hobey Baker Rink in Princeton, New Jersey.
In addition to Buhl, rookies Jordan Steinmetz and Ashton Fry also found the net on Friday night. Captain Michael Laidley earned his first point of the season with an assist on the Fry tally in the latter half of the third period.St. Lawrence led 2-1 through 20 minutes, but Princeton scored three goals in the first 10:19 of the second period, including two in a span of 44 seconds, to take a 4-2 lead into the final frame. Fry pulled the visitors within one with just under eight minutes to play, but the Tigers tacked on two empty net goals in the final two minutes to seal the win.
Buhl's goal came just 1:39 into the first to give St. Lawrence a 1-0 lead, as he tucked in a rebound on the near post after Princeton's Jeremie Forget stopped the initial blast by Kaden Pickering in the slot.
Just past the midway point of the frame Princeton's Luke Keenan, who was the overtime hero for the Tigers in Canton in January, beat netminder Francis Boisvert on a third-chance opportunity from the low slot on the power play. Keenan's shot snuck under Boisvert's left arm and trickled in for a 1-1 game at the 11:04 mark.
Later in the first, David Jankowski won a draw in the offensive zone for Aleksi Peltonen, who played it up top to Jake Stevens at the point. Stevens wound up and went down on a knee for a blast towards goal that was tipped by Steinmetz as he cut across the top of the crease and beat Forget five hole to give the Saints a 2-1 lead at the 17:03 mark for his fifth of the season.
Liam Grande tied the game at 2-2 with Princeton's second power-play goal of the night at 3:35 of the middle frame before Matthew Thom put the Tigers in front for good 44 seconds later. Reid Yochim's first goal of the season at 10:19 of the second turned out to be the game winner.
The Saints came out strong in the third looking to chip away at the deficit with a string of solid shifts from all four lines and Buhl nearly notched his second of the night with a shot from the circle that rang the far pipe just under three minutes in.
Fry pulled St. Lawrence within one at the 12:15 mark of the final frame, as he worked up the half wall and put a wrister through a screen, beating Forget over the shoulder on the blocker side just and under the bar to make it a 4-3 game.
Despite several quality scoring chances in the last 10 minutes of regulation, however, Forget held the Saints to just three goals and made 10 of his 26 total saves in the third period.
St. Lawrence pulled Boisvert for the extra attacker with 3:30 to play, but struggled to maintain possession, giving up empty net goals to Keenan and Mark Paolini and registering just one shot on goal in that final push.
Shots were even at 29 apiece, as Boisvert finished with 23 saves in the loss, which drops the Saints to 3-22-4 overall and 1-15-1 in ECAC Hockey.
Princeton finished 2-for-4 on the power play, while the Saints went 0-for-3.
With the win, Princeton now has a four-point lead on the St. Lawrence in the ECAC Hockey standings at 4-16-4 overall and 2-12-3 against conference opponents.
St. Lawrence will travel to Quinnipiac to face off against the No. 15 Bobcats on Saturday night in Hamden, Connecticut at 7 p.m.