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Petizian, Saints Stop Engineers

By Phil Janack

Schenectady Daily Gazette, March 1, 2009

TROY - Just over two minutes had elapsed Saturday night when Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute sophomore defenseman Jeff Foss had his wrist shot clank off the crossbar behind St. Lawrence goaltender Alex Petizian.

With 7:45 to play in the third period, Engineers freshman forward Jordan Watts found himself alone with the puck at the top of the crease and Petizian on the ice, but flipped a rebound over the top of an open net.

It was the closest RPI got to scoring all night.

Petizian finished with 31 saves, and captain Shawn Fensel had a goal and an assist to lead St. Lawrence to a 2-0 win, spoiling the final home game for RPI's five seniors: captain Matt Angers-Goulet, alternate captain Seth Klerer, Andrei Uryadov, Kurt Colling and goalie Mathias Lange.

"Obviously, that's not the way you want to go out, in front of your fans," said the Engineers' captain whose brother, Alex, is a freshman center. "In general, we played well. It was a big team effort.

"We've just got to score on those chances. That's how you win in playoffs. When you get those chances, you've got to score them. That didn't happen tonight, but we've got to look ahead and be ready to score those."

It was the sixth straight win and 10th in 11 games for the 17th-ranked Saints (11-7-4, 19-11-4), who beat Union by the same 2-0 score Friday night.

RPI (6-15-1, 7-25-2) lost its fifth consecutive game and wound up 11th in the 12-team ECAC. The Engineers will play at sixth-seeded Dartmouth in the first round of the playoffs this weekend.

"We created offense all night," RPI coach Seth Appert said. "We did a lot of good things offensively. We had some guys that were flying out there and attacking, and our defensemen were active in the play.

"We hit three posts in the first period and we couldn't find a goal in the second or third. I liked the way we played. If we play like that, we're going to give ourselves a chance to win in the playoffs."

Despite being outshot, 9-6, St. Lawrence took a 1-0 lead at 12:11 of the first period when Fensel got between defenders to put a 10-footer past Lange's glove with 13 seconds left on the Saints' first power play.

It remained a one-goal game thanks to Lange, who stuck out his right pad to rob St. Lawrence's Kevin Devergilio of a wide open net from the left circle, also with the man advantage, 3:46 into the second.

The Saints doubled their lead with 1:29 left, their fourth power play of the period, and sixth of the game. From the right point, Fensel sent the puck to the corner where Mike McKenzie picked it up, walked out and roofed a short-side shot.