St. Lawrence held firm on home ice to defeat Clarkson 3-1 and take round one of the season series. The Saints maintain possession of first place in the ECAC and improve to 10-5-4 overall while Clarkson dropped to 9-7-3.

The win was the first for Saints coach Mark Morris against his former team, but he did his best to credit his team with keeping their composure, something they learned in their game against Massachusetts in the Friendship Four.

“I think that our guys really handled the intensity of the game really well. We had a hard lesson that we learned in Ireland, when they played their old coach, and we came out and took a pile unnecessary amount of penalties trying to be macho and trying to be tough, and it didn’t pay off for us.”

But when pressed, Morris had an honest response to whether the win a little something extra to him. “I’d be lying if I said no,” he said with a smile.

On the ice, the execution was apparent with one Saints skater, whose play of late has contributed to the success of St. Lawrence; Mike Marnell, the team’s leading goal scorer.

“Marnie’s got a high compete level,” said Morris. “When the puck hits his stick, he’s got really quick feet, he can pull away from people, and he’s got the unique ability to finish plays. You can just tell, that if the puck is on his stick and he’s in near the goalie, there’s a good chance he’ll score.

Marnell had a chance just like that against the Golden Knights, and he made his coach an honest man, beating Jake Kielly over the shoulder with a snapshot on a breakaway to put the Saints up 3-0.

“My teammates are helping me out, and this is probably the best team we’ve had here for a while,” said Marnell of his, and his team’s, recent success. “Definitely right place right time as well. I didn’t get the puck out of the zone, and the defense made the play, but it happened to go right to (Eric) Sweetman, and he put it right on my stick.”

The Saints went up 3-0 on that goal, thanks to a pair of goals in the first period from Nolan Gluchowski and Mike Ederer. Gluchowski’s came on a power play at 7:47 of the first period, and Ederer netted his fourth of the season by picking up a rebound from a Marnell shot and beating Kielly low blocker at 12:49 of period one.

“We were spot on early on in the game; that power-play goal was a huge one for our confidence,” said Morris of the Gluchowski goal.

James De Haas put the Golden Knights on the board with 11:18 gone in the third period, scoring on a power play from the left circle after working his way through a pair of SLU defenders, but the Saints held on late, spending the last 1:07 of the game on a penalty kill with Gluchowski in the box.

Clarkson coach Casey Jones was disappointed about the result, but not his team’s effort.

“I actually thought we started pretty good. I thought five-on-five game, we were in control of the game. We end up with two five-on-three’s, and a situation where they score a five-on-three goal to get them going, and the second goal was one of those situations where we missed a guy on a breakaway. I liked a lot of our game here tonight. I thought our resiliency was good, and we bounced back.”

ECAC roundup

Union 3, Brown 1
Mike Vecchione’s short-handed goal 1:32 into the second period held up as the game-winner in Providence, as Union downed Brown, 3-1. Tommy Marchin scored the lone goal for the Bears while Specer Foo iced the win for the Dutchmen with a power-play goal 10:23 into the third.

Princeton 5, Quinnipiac 3
The Tigers fought off the Bobcats at home to earn a 5-3 win over Quinnipiac. Matt Nelson scored the game-winner with 4:05 remaining in the third. Princeton led 3-2 after two periods, but Thomas Aldworth tied it just two minutes into the third. The Tigers are now one ECAC win away from tying their total of three from a season ago.

Yale 7, Rensselaer 3
The Bulldogs took care of business at home, dispatching the Engineers thanks to two-goal performances by Joe Snively, John Hayden, and Ted Hart. Ryan Hitchcock notched three assists, while Hayden led all skaters with four points.