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Saints settle for tie against Crimson

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CANTON — The St. Lawrence University hockey team likely came as close to a home victory as it could have on Saturday night.

Matt Carey scored the tying goal in the third period for the Saints, but Harvard goalie Steve Michalek stood tall the rest of the way as the two teams skated to a 2-2 tie in an ECAC Hockey game before 1,396 at Appleton Arena.

Michalek finished with 39 saves, including 15 in the third period and six more in overtime, to hold off St. Lawrence (11-15-4, 5-9-4).

“I thought we took it to them in the overtime as well as the third period,” Saints senior goalie Matt Weninger said. “It was a better game for us and a good response to (Friday). We played well, I think we played well enough to win, that’s for sure.”

Just how close did St. Lawrence come to recording an elusive home win?

In the closing seconds of overtime, junior forward Gunnar Hughes broke in alone on a breakaway, but fired the puck wide of the net.

“It would have been awesome if Gunnar had gotten that one,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “I thought we were in control of the game and we outshot them pretty heavily. We could have done a better job of getting to the net for rebounds. It would have been nice to score an ugly goal.”

The Saints, who lost to Dartmouth 3-1 on Friday, earned just their third point over their past 10 home games (1-8-1).

“It’s tough when you tie a game, which we should have won,” Matt Carey said. “But you’ve got to look at the positives and keep moving forward. We’ve got two road games and we’ve been successful on the road.”

Overall, St. Lawrence is 4-9-1 on home ice this season and 7-6-3 in road games.

But Carvel was pleased with his team’s effort, particularly in the later stages of the game when it outshot Harvard, 16-5 in the third period and 6-1 in overtime.

“I thought our guys played real well,” Carvel said. “We earned a lot of power plays because I thought we were playing a good physical style and just winning battles.”

Greg Carey also scored a power-play goal for the Saints and Weninger finished with 20 saves.

St. Lawrence avoided being swept over the weekend and recorded its fourth tie in four overtimes this season — all in league play.

“I think we played well and we outplayed them,” Matt Carey said. “Both lines, like Gunnar’s, they had chances all game. I just think we need to get our power play going a little bit better.”

After Harvard led 1-0 through 40 minutes, Matt Carey followed with tying goal as he swept in a one-timer off a cross-ice feed from Greg Carey 1 minute, 19 seconds into the third period.

The Crimson, which entered third in the nation in penalty killing, denied St. Lawrence, the country’s top-ranked power-play unit, on its first four man advantages.

Harvard then capitalized on its first power play of the game at 8:08 of the second period to lead 1-0. Defenseman Victor Newell scored on a blast from the slot 46 seconds into a two-man advantage.

The Saints broke through on their fifth man advantage as Greg Carey sent a laser from the right point through Michalek’s pads at 14:39.

“It’s good to see Greg score a goal like that,” Carvel said of Carey, who stands third in the country in points (48) after scoring his first goal in 10 games. “I’m sure that will really give him a lift that he needs.”

After an early second intermission as arena workers replaced a broken glass panel with 1:04 remaining in the second, the Crimson led 2-1 on Brian Hart’s rebound goal with 38.1 seconds left in the period.

Then the two Careys, who were back playing on the same line Saturday, conspired on the tying goal with St. Lawrence on a rare 4-on-3 man advantage.

“I thought our guys battled hard,” said Harvard coach Ted Donato, whose team edged Clarkson, 1-0, on Friday in overtime. “But I thought we just took too many unnecessary penalties, really. They’re obviously the No. 1 team on the power play, so to give them eight opportunities is too much.”

Both teams salvaged a point in the chase for playoff positioning. With two weeks left in the regular season, both trail eighth-place Brown by a point. The Bears upset Quinnipiac, 4-2 earlier in the day.

“It would have been nice to have two (points),” Weninger said. “But one point is better than nothing. We can’t get upset about it. ... We just have to make sure we play the best we can in our own building and I think we did that tonight.”




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