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St. Lawrence completes sweep of Maine

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The Saints were quick starters on Saturday night, scoring the game’s first three goals en route to completing sweep of Maine.

Greg Carey scored two goals and assisted on another and Kyle Flanagan scored twice as St. Lawrence rolled past the Black Bears for the second consecutive night, this time posting a 5-1 nonconference victory at Alfond Arena.

Goalie Matt Weninger made 36 saves to post his second win in as many nights for the Saints, who at 3-1 are off to their best road start since the 1998-99 season. St. Lawrence also continued its recent dominance of Hockey East opponents by extending its unbeaten streak against the conference to 6-0-1.

“We knew that Maine was very unhappy with the way they played Friday night,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “So we resolved to try and repeat our intensity and we did — we played really hard and we were prepared for them.”

Gunnar Hughes recorded a pair of assists, and Kyle Esserly scored his first goal of the season for St. Lawrence.

Carey opened the scoring with an unassisted tally as he created a turnover and scored on a wrist shot 7 minutes, 20 seconds into the game.

After Flanagan converted on a cross-ice pass from Carey to build a 2-0 lead at 14:15, Carey struck again just after a St. Lawrence power-play had expired as he redirected a shot in close by Gunnar Hughes past Maine goalie Matt Morris at 12:21 of the second period.

“We wanted to be in position to be real responsible with the puck and frustrate them with the effort they were making,” Carvel said. “I think that tonight we were very opportunistic with our scoring. The shots were kind of lopsided in their favor, but our scoring chances were much better than their scoring chances.”

After Maine (1-4) drew within 3-1 on Mark Nemec’s goal 4:29 into the third period, Flanagan followed with a power-play goal at 11:09 for a 4-1 lead.

Kyle Essery capped the scoring on a rush toward the net as he tipped in Hughes’ goal-mouth pass at 16:16.

Weninger, who finished with 30 saves in the 5-0 victory over Maine on Friday, this time made 14 of his 36 saves in the third period to help finish off the Black Bears.

“Even though they outshot us, we didn’t give up a ton of real quality coring chances,” Carvel said. “At the end of the second period they had a power play and Matt made two spectacular saves. which were huge at the time.”

St. Lawrence’s penalty-killing unit held Maine scoreless for the second straight game by killing off five power plays. In all, the Black Bears went 0-for-14 while on the man advantage over the two games.

“Again, our special teams were real good,” Carvel said. “We killed off all their power plays and we scored a power-play goal ... so again, we rose to the occasion.”

The Saints outscored the Black Bears, 10-1 over the two games to avenge a 10-1 loss in the previous meeting between the two teams on Nov. 28, 2009 in Portland, Maine.

St. Lawrence’s run against Hockey East foes has included two wins against nationally-ranked teams, including at a 2-1 overtime victory at No. 2 New Hampshire on Jan. 2, 2011, and a 5-2 triumph over fifth-ranked Boston College on Jan. 1, 2010.

The Saints are off next weekend and will host Alabama-Huntsville on Nov. 2-3.

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