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Weninger carries Saints past Black Bears in opener

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CANTON — St. Lawrence University’s Matt Weninger continued his strong play against the University of Maine on Friday night.

The senior goaltender made 25 saves and junior Patrick Doherty scored the game winner in the second period as the Saints turned back the Black Bears, 3-1 at Appleton Arena in the season opener for both teams.

St. Lawrence (1-0) has won three consecutive games against Maine (0-1), including a sweep of a two-game set last October in Orono, Maine.

Weninger, who stopped all eight shots faced in the third period, including denying Mark Anthoine’s breakaway bid with 12 minutes left the game, has made 91 saves on 93 shots faced in the past three meetings against the Black Bears.

Freshman Gavin Bayreuther and sophomore Brian Ward, both newcomers, each scored a goal for the Saints.

Bayreuther, a freshman defenseman, opened the scoring 13:07 into the game with a blast from the top of the right faceoff circle, with Greg Carey assisting.

Blaine Byron drew Maine even 1:48 into the second period as he one-timed a feed from Brian Morgan past Weninger from in close.

St. Lawrence responded just 52 seconds later as Doherty cruised down the middle, chipped the puck past a defender and lifted a shot over goalie Martin Ouellette for the go-ahead goal.

“We’re going to win games when we respond like that,” Weninger said.

In the third period, Ward finished off a 2-on-1 break with freshman Woody Hudson, who crashed the net and Ward tipped in the rebound at 13:14.

The two teams will square off again at 7 tonight as part of St. Lawrence’s homecoming weekend.

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