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Cornell handles St. Lawrence

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ITHACA — St. Lawrence University’s men’s hockey team’s struggles at Cornell continued Saturday night.

The 12th-ranked Big Red scored two goals in the final six minutes to defeat the Saints, 3-1 in an ECAC Hockey game at Lynah Rink.

St. Lawrence hasn’t won a game at Cornell in the past six seasons with its last victory in Ithaca a 2-1 decision in February 2006.

In this meeting, the Saints (7-5-2 overall, 1-3-2 league) stayed with the Big Red for nearly 55 minutes before Cornell (6-3-2, 3-3-2) broke open a close game.

“In the first period, Cornell had the better of the play,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel. “But I thought after that we regrouped, played much better and played a pretty even game the last two periods. We didn’t necessarily deserve to win, but even with five minutes left in the game we were getting our scoring chances. It was just some mistakes late in the game which hurt us.”

With the game tied at one, John Esposito took a long pass from Erik Axell and scored on a breakaway at 14:15 of the third period for the eventual game-winning goal.

The Saints were then caught trying to set up for the potential tying goal in the final minute and a turnover at center ice led to Joel Lowry’s goal for Cornell in the final minute of the game at 19:04.

St. Lawrence suffered its third consecutive Saturday night loss, including a 4-0 decision at Boston University last week. The Saints are now 2-5 on Saturday this season.

“They’re a big, strong hockey team,” Carvel said of Cornell. “And our defensemen had a hard time handling their forwards down low and they did a real good job in our zone, especially in the first period. But I like the way the guys competed, we battled for 60 minutes and I’m happy with our effort.”

The Saints grabbed the early lead on Saturday as Greg Carey scored his 11th of the season on a power play just 2:16 into the game. Kyle Flanagan found Carey at the edge of the right faceoff circle and Carey snapped a laser under the crossbar 39 seconds into the man advantage.

The Big Red drew even at one when senior Vince Mihalek took advantage of a Saints miscue in their end and tucked the puck past goalie Matt Weninger at 18:33.

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