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St. Lawrence hockey notes: Carvel hangs tough despite puck in the eye

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CANTON — The course of a hockey game can sometimes change or turn in the blink of an eye.

St. Lawrence University men’s hockey coach Greg Carvel just didn’t expect to be as involved in the game as much as he was last Saturday night at Brown.

About five minutes into the first period, Carvel was hit by an errant puck, which struck his left eye.

The second-year head coach went down and was bleeding. He was taken to the locker room area for attention.

“I didn’t know,” Carvel said of how hurt he was after being hit by the puck. “I guessed it was pretty bad. I was bleeding and I was more concerned about my cheekbone, that hurt a lot more. But now I just have a cut, which is healing.”

“I was right there,” senior and assistant captain Jeremy Wick said. “So when he went down, I saw the blood coming out and then we really didn’t hear anything about what was going on.”

Undaunted, Carvel, who received stitches above his left eye, returned for the start of the second period, and he helped guide the Saints to a 3-3 tie with Brown.

“They told us during the intermission that he was still over there getting worked on and when he finally came back it was kind of a surprise,” Wick said. “But he hung in there and obviously wanted to get back behind the bench.”

Fortunately for Carvel, his left eye didn’t suffer any damage as the puck hit him face on rather than on its side, also leaving deep bruises around the eye.

“It’s almost an afterthought at this point,” Carvel said after his team’s practice on Wednesday,

The Canton native posted a photo of himself on his Twitter account on Monday, revealing the injury. The tweet mentioned he had received many requests to see the damage.

The Saints posted two ties last weekend, also drawing 3-3 at defending national champion Yale on Friday. It marked the first time St. Lawrence has opened its ECAC Hockey season with back-to-back ties.

“I thought we played well enough to come away with wins, but unfortunately we didn’t,” Carvel said. “But I’m happy with our level of play in both games. I’m pleased, but at the same time, our record should be a little bit better then it is.”

St. Lawrence (4-2-2, 0-0-2 ECAC) will make its second trip to New England in as many weeks, playing at Harvard (2-1-1, 1-1-1) tonight and at Dartmouth (0-4, 0-2) on Saturday night, with both starts at 7.

“We’re trying to learn lessons and be a harder team to play against,” Carvel said. “And when we get a lead, to extend it and keep. Right now the challenge is to be able put games away. A lot of things go into that — we need big saves at certain times and we need our freshmen to mature and learn from their mistakes.”

WENINGER LEADS THE WAY

Senior goalie Matt Weninger made a total of 70 saves last weekend, including 36 against Brown.

He also didn’t allow a goal in the third period and overtime in both games.

Weninger, again one of the busiest goalies in college hockey, ranks eighth in the nation in both shots faced (204) and minutes played (417 minutes, 54 seconds) and ninth in saves (183).

BROTHERS UPDATE

If there was any question of how freshman Matt Carey would fit in on the Saints’ top line and power-play unit along with seniors Greg Carey and Jeremy Wick, that has been answered by the freshman center’s play thus far.

Carey leads the team in goals (5), is second in points (10) and is tied for third in assists (5) with two others.

Greg Carey, who leads the team in points (13) and assists (9), is tied for third in the nation in both categories.

The line had a hand in all six goals scored last weekend and combined for nine points, with Greg Carey leading the way with two goals and three assists.

POWER PLAY ON THE RISE

The Saints’ power play continues to improve, connecting on three of four man-advantage opportunities last weekend.

St. Lawrence’s power play has risen to No. 5 in the country at 28.57 percent (10-for-35).

After struggling to start the season, the Saints have scored seven man-advantage goals over their past four games.

Wick, Matt Carey and freshman defenseman Gavin Bayreuther are all tied for the team lead in power-play goals with two each, while four others have one each.

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

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