Rookie defensemen Ben Finkelstein capped off a three-goal third period for No. 15 St. Lawrence with his first collegiate goal to help the Saints to a 4-1 win over Merrimack College on Saturday night in Appleton Arena to complete the weekend sweep.
Both Finkelstein and sophomore Michael Ederer and Finkelstein notched their firsts of the season in the win, while senior assistant captain Gavin Bayreuther and sophomore Michael Laidley score the first two goals of the night for St. Lawrence. Meanwhile, Mike Marnell extended his point streak to three games with three assists against the Warriors.
With the win, the Saints, as well as junior netminder Kyle Hayton, improve to 3-1-0 on the season. Merrimack (0-3-0) leaves the North Country still looking for its first win after being outscored 8-1 by Clarkson and St. Lawrence.
The teams went into the first intermission tied at 0-0 after combining for nine penalties and 29 penalty minutes in the opening 20 minutes. Senior Woody Hudson was given a major and a game misconduct following an open-ice hit, putting the Saints on a five-minute kill after already having killed two penalties in the first eight minutes. Two
Merrimack penalties and a penalty to the Saints' Kyle Hayton would open up the ice even more, but neither team was able to convert.
Bayreuther opened the scoring at the 3:28 mark of the middle frame when he carried the puck behind the Warriors net into the right circle before snapping off a wrister that bested netminder Drew Vogler high, as he had gone down early anticipating a wraparound attempt. Marnell and sophomore Jacob Pritchard assisted on the play.
Early in the third with the Saints on the power play, sophomore Mike Laidley extended the lead to 2-0 when he buried the rebound off an initial shot by Joe Sullivan at the edge of the crease.
Ederer's first of the year made it 3-0 in favor of the Scarlet and Brown midway through the final frame. First-year Will Harrison and senior captain Alexander Dahl earned their first points of 2016-17 assisting the Lancaster, N.Y. native's goal; his second against Merrimack in as many seasons.
Harrison and Dahl won a battle along the end boards and kicked the puck out to Ederer who skated into the lower right circle before roofing a shot over Vogler's right shoulder.
After Merrimack's Hampus Gustafsson notched a power play goal to cut the Warrior deficit to 3-1, Finkelstein capped off a balanced offensive weekend for St. Lawrence with a snipe from the right side.
The Saints had the Warriors pinned deep in their own zone following a flurry of shots. Marnell was able to corral a loose puck and kick it to Bayreuther who swung it to the Burlington, Vt. native and Florida Panthers draft pick for a bar down shot and a 4-1 final score.
Hayton made 24 saves through 60 minutes including 11 in the first period and six on the power play. Vogler finished with 33 saves in a losing effort for Merrimack.
St. Lawrence has another pair of Hockey East opponents on tap for next weekend, as the Saints travel to UMass Lowell and Providence on Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22, respectively.