Photo via Jack Lyons
The Saints men’s hockey team looks to finish strong with the final two games of the regular season. The team has been on a skid as of late after beating the Union Dutchman 4-3 on January 28th and subsequently attaining first place overall. Since then, the Saints have dropped three out of the last four games, losing to Clarkson, Princeton, and Cornell. They then tied Colgate on Senior Night. This upcoming weekend, they will travel to Dartmouth and Harvard to finish out the regular season.
The last time the team played the Big Green, they won 5-1. Most of the scoring came from Jacob Pritchard ‘19 and Mike Marnell ‘18, who scored two goals apiece. Dartmouth has a .500 record in their last four games, beating RPI and Brown while losing to league leaders Union and the Yale Bulldogs. In comparison, the Saints have a 15-10-7 overall record while the Big Green have a 10-14-3 record. Both teams average a little over two and a half goals per game. The Saints outscore the Big Green 90 to 72 for the season. Goalie Kyle Hayton ‘18 and the defense let up 2.5 goals game, while Dartmouth gives up 3.37 goals a game. The Big Green’s power play is better than the Saints at 15.4 to 12.7, but SLU has a better penalty kill at 87.3 to 73.9.
Getting a win on Friday would help boost the Saints, because the next night they play the Harvard Crimson who are ranked third in the nation. St. Lawrence lost to Harvard 4-2 when they played at Appleton Arena, their first loss in ECAC play. In the last league games, Harvard has gone 4-0-0, beating their opponents easily. They beat Dartmouth, Union, Yale, and Brown, outscoring them 19 to 6. Recently, they also won the Beanpot Tournament played at TD Garden. The head-to-head matchup slightly leans toward the Crimson. They have a better winning percentage, score more goals and have the fifth best power play percentage in the country. The Saints and the Crimson let up the same number of goals, which sets up an exciting end to the regular season.
All the Saints need is one point this weekend to lock up fourth place and a first round bye. They have already clinched home ice advantage, so more games will played at Appleton this season. If they are able to clinch the fourth spot, early predictions say that the Saints would either play Quinnipiac or Clarkson to make it to Lake Placid for the final four rounds of the ECAC tournament. Everyone remembers how intense and exciting that last playoff series was. The Saints prevailed after winning in overtime and double overtime. Playing Quinnipiac would be just as intense, as the two teams have played in close games the last four meetings.
Whoever the Saints end up facing in the playoffs, they look to avenge the loss they suffered in overtime last year in Lake Placid during the semifinals, and it all starts in the final weekend.