When Clarkson and St. Lawrence met in the first-ever ECAC Championship game in 1962, the Saints defeated the Golden Knights, 5-2, to snag the league's inaugural crown.
Saturday night at Boston Garden, these two teams met for the title again and it was St. Lawrence that added another chapter to ECAC history.
The Saints' 3-0 victory over the Knights was the first shutout ever recorded in a league title game. St. Lawrence (27-7 overall) captured its first league crown since that inaugural game in 1962.
Clarkson (17-15-4)--which has participated in 26 of 27 ECAC tournaments--again came up empty, as it has since 1966, the only year the Knights won the league championship.
The Saints, once the Sad Sacks of the ECAC, won the title that eluded them last year, when Harvard defeated them, 6-3.
"It was a situation where we felt we really should win this year after last year," said St. Lawrence Coach Joe Marsh, who mauled members of his squad after the final buzzer sounded. "Anything else would have been a downer."
The first period was the only downer the Saints would feel all night as Clarkson goalie and all-tournament selection John Fletcher stopped all of SLU's 17 shots.
"Between the first and the second period," said St. Lawrence's Pete Lappin, who was named the tournament MVP, "we knew that if we just remained calm and poised that sooner or later we'll get a goal."
St. Lawrence finally cracked Fletcher, as Joe Day slammed a Brian McColgan rebound off the far boards for his 17th goal of the season at the 2:38 mark of the second period. Before the Knights could recover, Andy Pritchard connected 46 seconds later on a backhanded flip that bounced off Fletcher's arm.
Lappin's slapshot in the middle of the zone 11 minutes later found a home in the net a gave the Saints their final goal of the night.
The Knights, who were outshot, 40-21, never managed to get their offense in gear and failed to pressure Saint goalie Paul Cohen. Cohen, who did not get seriously tested in the entire game, set a tournament record for the least goals allowed (4) in a four-game series.
"St. Lawrence has a little bit of everything," Clarkson Coach Cap Raeder said. "They have some quickness, they're big and they're strong. When they get goaltending like that, they're tough to handle."
"Without defense where would I be?" Cohen said.
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