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SLU posts 3-2 upset win over No. 3 Quinnipiac

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HAMDEN, Conn. — St. Lawrence University’s hockey team continued its late-season resurgence in style on Saturday night by knocking off third-ranked Quinnipiac.

The Saints rallied by scoring two goals in the third period and received 31 saves from Matt Weninger as they held off the Bobcats, 3-2, in an ECAC Hockey game at TD Bank Sports Center.

Brian Ward and Justin Baker scored within 1 minute, 12 seconds to lift St. Lawrence (11-14-3, 5-8-3), which has won three of its past four games.

“This was a game that really tested our character and tested our mettle,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “Weninger made some outstanding saves and as well as a huge save in the final minute.”

Weninger stopped 16 of 17 shots in the third period for the Saints, who have now won four straight road games against Quinnipiac (20-5-5, 10-3-3) over the course of four seasons.

After seizing the lead with 4:16 left in the third period on Baker’s goal, St. Lawrence fended off Quinnipiac by killing off three late penalties, including the final 50 seconds when the Bobcats were on a two-man advantage after goalie Michael Gartieg was pulled for an extra attacker.

“Our guys did a real good job clearing the puck down the ice, which was huge,” Carvel said. “And we had a couple big blocked shots by Eric Sweetman and Pat Raley. I’m just so proud of my team right now.”

The Saints killed off seven of eight Bobcats’ power plays.

With St. Lawrence trailing 2-1 on Quinnipiac’s Bryce Van Brabant’s power-play goal 1:41 into the third, Ward scored the tying goal from Drew Smolcynski at 14:32.

Baker followed with the deciding tally as he knocked in a Greg Carey rebound after Matt Carey won the faceoff for a power-play goal at 15:44.

“Our guys responded well after we gave up that goal,” Carvel said. “Brian Ward scored a beautiful goal to tie the game.”

Gavin Bayreuther also scored a goal for the Saints at 10:35 of the second to tie it at 1-1. Bryce Van Brabant followed with the go-ahead goal for the Bobcats 1:41 into the third.

Garteig finished with 20 saves for Quinnipiac, which lost for just the second time in 11 games (7-2-2).

St. Lawrence moved into a tie for eighth place in the conference with Brown, but the Bears possess the tiebreaker having won the season series (1-0-1).

nNOTES: St. Lawrence improved to 7-6-3 on the road. ... The Saints swept a weekend series for the first time since winning at Harvard and Dartmouth Nov. 8-9. ... St. Lawrence is 6-1-1 in its past eight meetings with Quinnipiac. ... Weninger won the Saints’ past three decisions at Qunnipiac, allowing only three goals on 99 shots. ... Baker (3-4) and Bayreuther (1-6) each have posted seven points over the past three games.

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