CANTON – St. Lawrence lost its exhibition, 5-2, to Carleton University of Ottawa on Sunday at Appleton Arena.
The Saints played with its two top returning scorers in Kyle Flanagan and Greg Carey, as has become custom in preseason games. Regular players George Hughes and Jacob Drewiske were also out of Sunday's game.
Instead, associate head coach Mike Hurlbut, who coached from the bench in place of head coach Joe Marsh, wanted to gauge the freshman class and the development of last year's underclassmen.
“We're encouraged by the effort. I think the young guys handled themselves very well,” Hurlbut said. “The simple part of the game, we have to keep it simple and not over play the puck and over handle the puck. At the end of the day, it's the effort and the effort was there.”
St. Lawrence never led and trailed 3-0 before freshman Chris Martin fed sophomore Nic Vangog in the second period to get the Saints on the board.
“It was a break-in process for (the freshmen),” Vangog said. “We've only had one practice and (Carleton's) played three games already. We just have to work out the kinks.”
St. Lawrence took three of its seven penalties in the third period, allowing two more goals to Carleton to fall behind 5-1.
Freshman Gunnar Hughes was particularly impressive and ended the night with a goal in the final two minutes for the Saints.
“It felt good to get used to the college pace,” Hughes said. “It's bigger guys, hard hits and a little bit faster, too.”
Hurlbut was also pleased with St. Lawrence goaltending effort. Of the five goals allowed, two came on power players and one was an odd-man rush.
Without the sure stick of Flanagan, Carey's lethal shot and Hughes' steady defense, St. Lawrence clearly appeared the inferior team. With them, it may have been a closer game.
“Three of our captains were out and Carey was one of the leading scorers in the league last year,” Vangog said. “Anytime they're in the lineup, they're going to make a difference.”
St. Lawrence begins its season against Ferris State for two games at home on Friday and Saturday.