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Union tops SLU to win league regular-season title

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SCHENECTADY — Union College’s men’s hockey team secured the Cleary Cup in resounding fashion on Saturday night at the expense of St. Lawrence University.

Daniel Carr scored two goals and registered an assist as the third-ranked Dutchmen rolled past the Saints, 6-2, in an ECAC Hockey game at Messa Rink.

Goalie Colin Stevens made 24 saves as the Dutchmen (22-6-4, 16-3-1) clinched the league’s regular-season title outright, the third in program history.

Alex Hagen and Gunnar Hughes each scored for the Saints (12-16-4, 6-10-4), who were dealt their second loss in their past six road games (3-2-1).

Union scored the game’s first five goals, including two scores in 23 seconds in the first period.

“They’re a very good team and they play very well at home,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “We were just outclassed tonight.”

After Sebastien Gingras scored a power-play goal 16 minutes, 3 seconds into the game, Nick Cruice followed with the Dutchmen’s second goal.

“We came in with a game plan and I don’t think we followed it very well,” Carvel said. “After they jumped out on 2-0 in the first period, I thought we regrouped. In the first half of the second period I thought we had the game back under control. But after they scored, they scored twice off the same penalty and the game was out of hand.”

Mike Vecchione provided the Dutchmen with a 3-0 lead 12:55 into the second period. Carr then scored twice in 2:06 — his first coming on the power play on a slapshot from the right circle at 14:25, followed by a breakaway goal at 16:31 for a 4-0 Union edge.

The Saints broke through with a goal from Hagen at 5:49 of the third period, ending goaltender Colin Stevens’s shutout streak at 140 minutes, 4 seconds. Eli Lichtenwald answered with a goal at 8:52 for the Dutchmen. St. Lawrence’s Hughes closed the scoring.

Matt Weninger allowed five goals on 25 shots for the Saints, before he was relieved by Tyler Parks late in the second period.

“We didn’t play as well tonight against a better team that is playing very well,” said Carvel, whose team dropped into ninth place in the league in the push for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. With two games left in the regular season, St. Lawrence now trails eighth-place Brown by a point. St. Lawrence will host No. 5 Quinnipiac on Friday and Princeton on Saturday, both 7 p.m. starts.

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