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Doherty picks up pace for SLU hockey

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CANTON — The St. Lawrence men’s hockey team has been seeking better scoring balance throughout this season.

Sophomore center Patrick Doherty has helped provide some of this balance, particularly of late for the Saints.

Doherty has six points, including four goals, over his past seven games to help spark St. Lawrence (11-10-3, 4-5-3), which hosts Cornell and Colgate tonight and Saturday at 7 p.m. in ECAC Hockey play at Appleton Arena.

“He’s picked up his scoring in the second half,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said of Doherty. “And that’s been huge for us to get scoring from other areas and he’s been a big part of that.”

A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Doherty helped the Saints complete a weekend road sweep as he scored a goal and assisted on George Hughes’ game-winning goal in overtime in a 4-3 victory at Harvard on Saturday.

“It was great,” Doherty said of the sweep. “We’ve been playing well lately and it was nice to get the results we were looking for.”

After Doherty had a quality scoring chance just minutes before in the overtime he came through with the next best thing to the game winner as he sent a sharp pass to Hughes, who tallied the deciding goal against the Crimson three minutes, 37 seconds into the extra session.

“He should of finished the game off, he had a great chance on the rush,” Carvel said. “But then he retrieved the puck and did a nice job of getting it back to George who scored the goal.”

“I actually thought I was going to score, but it got blocked in front of the net,” Doherty said. “I just kind of picked up the puck out of the corner and I was going to shoot, but George was calling for it, so I slid it over to him. It was great for us to get a goal there when we needed it.”

St. Lawrence, which is unbeaten in its past four games (3-0-1), moved up into a tie for sixth place with Colgate in the league.

The Saints, 4-1-1 in their past six games, trail fifth-place Princeton by only two points and stand only four points out of third place.

“This is the time of the season to get on a roll,” Doherty said. “During the second half you want to be playing well and carry this over into the playoffs. This is when it really counts.”

With his six goals this season, Doherty has already matched his goal total from his freshman campaign.

“Pat’s been playing real well and he’s been scoring a lot lately,” Carvel said. “He’s a very versatile player, he can play on the wing or at center, basically where ever we need him the most. He’s got speed and skill and he has a great work ethic.

“He shoots the puck real well ... and we can depend on him on the power play and in penalty killing — as well as faceoffs — he’s a very important player.”

Doherty, who has appeared in all 24 games this season, missed only one of the St. Lawrence’s 36 games in 2011-12.

HOME COOKING

Seven of the Saints’ 11 victories have come on the road, including 3-2-2 in ECAC play.

Now with six of its final regular-season games at Appleton Arena, including four straight beginning tonight, St. Lawrence is still searching for more consistent play on home ice.

The Saints are 4-5-1 at home, including 1-3-1 in conference play.

“We’ve got to turn that trend around,” Carvel said. “It’s always easier to play at home, and it felt like a home game against Harvard on Saturday night — because we had a good following there — and that was a big win for us.”

HOBEY BAKER TALK

While senior captain Kyle Flanagan is on the Hobey Baker Award’s fan ballot, there’s one Saint who is conspicuously absent from the list — linemate Greg Carey.

This omission doesn’t exactly sit well with Carvel, who says Carey should be on the list.

“He leads the country in goals,” Carvel said of the junior winger. “I’ve been saying since day one that Kyle is a legitimate Hobey Baker finalist. I think if he can keep scoring the rest of the way like he has been, that will get him in that conversation.”

Carey (16 goals, 18 assists for 34 points) and Flanagan (12-21-33), who not only rank 1-2 in scoring in the ECAC, also stand fourth and fifth, respectively, in scoring in the nation. Carey also leads the nation in goal scoring (16) and is tied for sixth in power play-goals (6) with five others.

Overall, 14 players from ECAC Hockey were nominated for the Hobey Baker Award ballot, including three each from Cornell, Union and Yale.

WICK PROVIDING POWER

Sophomore winger Jeremy Wick has continued his power surge by scoring a power-play goal in each of his past three games.

Wick, who scored the Saints first goal against Dartmouth on Friday with a man-advantage goal, also scored while on the power play in the second period against Harvard.

Wick began his special teams’ streak by tallying his first career power-play goal in St. Lawrence’s 3-3 tie at Clarkson on Jan. 19.

Sportswriter Chris Fitz Gerald covers St. Lawrence University for the Times. He can be reached at cfitzgerald@wdt.net

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