No. 19 Saints Drop Clarkson to Hold on to First Place

A two-goal first period propelled the No. 19 St. Lawrence men's hockey team to a 3-1 win over rival Clarkson in Appleton Arena on Friday night. The Saints left the ice for the final time of the first semester as the first-place team in ECAC Hockey after having earned a hard-fought win over head coach Mark Morris' former team in front of a raucous crowd in their own barn.

Mike Marnell led St. Lawrence with his team-leading 11th goal and an assist on the night, while seven Saints factored into the scoring and Kyle Hayton made 34 stops en route to his 10th win.

The Saints jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at the 7:47 mark of the first period when Nolan Gluchowski beat rookie netminder Jake Kielly with a rip from in between the circles for his second of the year. Jacob Pritchard and Gavin Bayreuther assisted on the play.   

Five minutes later, Michael Ederer netted the eventual game-winning goal with a quick shot from the bottom of the left circle that beat Kielly high on the glove side. The play started with a wraparound attempt by Marnell, but Kielly couldn't corral the puck and Ederer raced in to beat out a pair of defenders before they could clear for his fourth of the season.

The Saints took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission and Marnell extended it to 3-0 with a breakaway goal at 13:04 of the middle frame.

Senior defensemen Eric Sweetman picked up the puck beneath the red line in the Saints' defensive zone and hit Marnell, who was circling in the neutral zone near the Clarkson blue line, with a stretch pass for a clear break into the zone. The South Huntington, N.Y. native put a wrister from the slot over the Clarkson goaltender's right shoulder for the final goal of the night for St. Lawrence.

Clarkson spoiled Hayton's bid for his 12th career shutout with a power play goal from James de Haas at 11:18 of the third period, but the Denver, Colorado native did an incredible job in between the pipes to help the Saints to the win.

Special teams was also a key factor Friday night, as the Saints limited Clarkson to just seven shot attempts on the power play. The Saints recorded a combined 20 chances through five power play opportunities. Both teams finished with one power play goal.

With a point against the Golden Knights, Bayreuther tied former Saints' All-America George Hughes '13 for second on the all-time points list for St. Lawrence defensemen with 105 on his career.

The Saints finish their first semester schedule at 10-5-4 overall with a 6-1-2 mark against conference teams and are sitting in first place in ECAC Hockey with 16 points. Their next game will be Jan. 3, 2017 at the University of Vermont at 7 p.m.