St. Lawrence Falls to Cornell

St. Lawrence Falls to Cornell

Three first period goals proved to be the difference as the No. 17 Saints men's hockey team fell to No. 12/13 Cornell, 4-2, on Friday night at Appleton Arena.

Ben Masella and Joe Sullivan scored for St. Lawrence in the second period to cut the deficit to 3-2, Cornell added another goal early in the final frame to put the game out of reach.

Matt Buckles opened the scoring for Cornell at 13:37 of the first period and Beau Starrett extended the lead to 2-0 just 30 seconds later. Cornell's leading scorer Mitch Vanderlaan made it 3-0 with just four seconds remaining in the first period.

Masella's goal at the midway point of middle frame was the first of the year for the Montreal, Quebec native. He backhanded the rebound from a shot by first-year Ryan Garvey from the slot behind Cornell netminder Mitch Gillam to make it 3-1 in favor of the visitors and shift momentum towards the Saints.

Exactly one minute later, Cornell's Eric Freschi was whistled for tripping when he upended first-year Carson Gicewicz as he moved the puck deep through the Big Red zone, setting up a power play opportunity for St. Lawrence.

At the 12:01 mark, Joe Sullivan snapped off a shot from the right dot that beat Gillam high over his left shoulder on the short side hit the inside pipe and popped back out, prompting and official review. The goal stood and the Saints were able to cut the deficit to 3-2 with their first power play tally since Jan. 20 at Colgate. Mike Marnell and Gavin Bayreuther assisted on the play.

But early in the third, Jake Weidner ripped a rebound from the half-wall past the Saints' Kyle Hayton for the fourth and final Cornell goal.

Hayton finished with 33 saves, including 12 in the first period and 14 in the second that allowed St. Lawrence to keep the game within reach.

Gillam made 27 stops in the win for Cornell to help the Big Red improve to 17-6-3 and 12-4-3 in ECAC Hockey. The Saints falls to 15-10-6 and 11-5-3 in conference games.

St. Lawrence and Cornell entered Friday's game tied for third in the ECAC Hockey standings with 25 points. Cornell is now in sole possession of third place behind league-leading Union (29) and Harvard (28). The Saints sit in fourth, four points in front of Quinnipiac with three games remaining in the regular season.

The Saints will host Colgate on Saturday night for their final regular season game of the season and will honor the eight members of the Class of 2017 immediately following the game with the Raiders.