Union slips past Saints 2-0
Junior forwards Wayne Simpson and Jeremy Welsh each scored power play goals and sophomore goaltender Troy Grosenick made 27 saves for his second shutout of the season as nationally ranked Union edged St. Lawrence University 2-0 in the ECAC Hockey opener for both teams at Appleton Arena in Canton Friday night.
Union, ranked 11th in one poll and 13th in the other, improved to 4-1-3 overall, while St. Lawrence played its best game of the season thus far, but is now 0-5-0. The Saints will be after their first win of the season when they host RPI to complete the opening weekend of league play on Saturday, while Union travels to Clarkson."There is no doubt that Friday's effort was our best 60 minutes thus far this season," said associate head coach Mike Hurlbut. "We played very well defensively and were able to create a number of quality scoring chances, but just couldn't finish those chances off. If we can duplicate that kind of performance and put a couple in the net, we'll be in good shape."
Simpson opened the scoring with a first period power play goal at 10:12 as he took a pass from Kyle Bodie and hit the upper right corner of the net and Welsh gave Grosenick an insurance goal when he scored a five-on-three power play goal at 11:51 of the third. Welsh's goal came after a pick at the blue line took a Saint defender out of the play and Welsh was all alone at the side of the net to put the puck away.
St. Lawrence had its chances in the game, but had one goal waved off as it was ruled to have been kicked into the net and another shot was plucked off the goal line by a Union defender before the Saints could tip it in. Union killed eight St. Lawrence power play opportunities, although the Saints did get 14 shots on those power play opportunities.
"We did a good job working the puck in the zone and got some good shots off, but Union did a great job against us with its penalty kill. They took away a lot of shooting lanes and were able to get sticks on a number of passes," Hurlbut added.
Sophomore goalie Matt Weninger made 25 saves for the Saints in a solid performance.