A late goal by rookie Carson Gicewicz set up a first-place tilt on Saturday night in Appleton Arena as the Saints edged RPI 2-1 on Friday evening to remain tied with Union atop the ECAC Hockey standings.
With the win, the Saints improve to 14-7-6 overall and 10-2-3 in ECAC Hockey. The Engineers fall to 4-22-1 and 2-12-0 in league contests.
First-year Alex Gilmour – who made his Appleton Arena debut against RPI – gave St. Lawrence a 1-0 lead at 4:26 of the second period when he teed up a shot from the right circle that beat netminder Chase Perry high on the glove side, just under the crossbar. Classmate Ben Finkelstein kept the play alive in the offensive zone with a good keep at the blue line to earn the assist and extend his point streak to four games.
Just over four minutes later, Riley Bourbonnais picked up a deflection on the left faceoff dot and put a shot behind the Saint's Kyle Hayton for the equalizer. Will Reilly assisted on the play for the Engineers.
RPI came out hard in the third period and kept the Saints pinned in their own zone for much of the first five minutes, but Hayton made some clutch saves to keep the game knotted at 1-1 and give Gicewicz and the Saints an opportunity to win it later in the frame. Hayton made 16 of his 34 saves in the final 20 minutes.
With just under three minutes to play in regulation, Gicewicz backhanded a deflection by Ryan Lough at the side of the nets to give the Saints the 2-1 lead. Eric Sweetman took the initial shot from the top of the circle that was tipped wide by Lough who was posted in front of Perry, but Gicewicz was alone on the far post to bury the game winner.
The Saints had two shots at the empty net in the final two minutes; one shot from Gilmour along the half wall went wide and a hard rim by Nolan Gluchowski from deep in the Saints defensive one was an inch from goal when Mike Prapavessis cleared the threat for the Engineers.
Perry made with 31 saves for RPI in the loss and the Engineers finished with a slight 35-34 edge in shots.
The Saints will host No. 5 Union tomorrow night at 7 p.m. for sole possession of first place in the ECAC Hockey standings.