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St. Lawrence loses captain for weekend

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CANTON — The St. Lawrence University men’s hockey team will conclude its regular season without senior captain Kyle Flanagan.

Flanagan underwent successful surgery to have his appendix removed on Tuesday and will be sidelined for at least a week, if not longer, according to St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel.

“He’s out this weekend and possibly the following weekend,” Carvel said. “So we’re hoping that we get a (playoff) bye and give Kyle enough time to recover.”

Flanagan, a Canton native, underwent the procedure on Tuesday evening at Canton-Potsdam Hospital in Potsdam, where he was admitted earlier in the day.

“The surgery was successful,” Carvel said. “There were no problems or complications. He could be back with us in the next seven to 10 days.”

After Flanagan called Brenda Crawford, St. Lawrence’s head athletic trainer, early Tuesday when he complained of pain, he was admitted to the hospital in the morning.

“He woke up with the symptoms and our trainer took him to the hospital,” Carvel said of the 24-year-old Flanagan. “The symptoms were pretty extreme.”

“It’s pretty routine,” Crawford said of the surgery.

The Saints, who occupy third place in ECAC Hockey, conclude their regular season with a weekend road trip at Union on Friday and at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday.

“I honestly just found out about it five minutes ago,” senior defenseman and assistant captain George Hughes said before the Saints’ afternoon practice. “Hopefully he’ll be OK and he’ll get better as soon as he can so he can rejoin us.”

Flanagan, who is a Hobey Baker Award candidate along with linemate Greg Carey, ranks third in the country in assists (28), is fourth in assists per game (0.90), is tied for fifth in points (42) and is sixth in points per game (1.35).

Flanagan, a dynamic center, has posted 142 career points, including 97 assists, in 130 games with St. Lawrence.

“Obviously he’s an irreplaceable player,” Hughes said of Flanagan, who is one of 10 players in the program’s history to serve as a two-year captain. “It’s pretty devastating to our team — he’s our leader and our captain. I hope he gets back as soon as possible and we just have to battle through this as a team.”

Flanagan has generated 13 (4-9) points over his past 11 games and has recorded 13 multi-point games this season.

“Kyle is a tremendous captain and leader of this team,” Carvel said. “He means so much to this team and this community, as well as what he’s brought to and taken this program.”

After missing eight games because of injury last season, Flanagan sat out one game this campaign as a precautionary measure because of a minor injury.

The Saints have already clinched home ice for at least the first round of the playoffs, and are in contention for a first-round bye.

“Guys are going to need to step up in his place,” Hughes said.

“It’s a big challenge,” Carvel said. “But luckily in hockey it’s not a one-man team — it’s a 20-man team. Hopefully that will help us go into the weekend more focused and more determined to find a way to win.”

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