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College hockey: St. Lawrence’s Carey brothers lead exhibition win

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CANTON — The Carey brothers era got off to a flying start for St. Lawrence University on Saturday night — although it wasn’t an official one.

Senior Greg Carey and freshman Matt Carey provided the Saints with a positive opener — albeit in the preseason — in a 4-2 exhibition victory over Carleton University on Saturday night before 2,331 at Appleton Arena.

It was the debut for Matt Carey, who centered St. Lawrence’s top line, with older brother Greg Carey on left wing and Jeremy Wick on the right side.

“I definitely think all our lines were moving pretty well,” Greg Carey said. “We saw a lot of the guys trying to get accustomed to the speed out there. We were getting pucks low and trying to play our systems out there.”

The three forwards combined to generate 10 points, including three goals and seven assists, to spark the Saints in their annual preseason game against the Ottawa school.

“It was great to get out there on the ice,” said Matt Carey, who wore No. 16 — the same number as Kyle Flanagan, the Canton native and center who starred at St. Lawrence for the previous four seasons. “I’m just so excited to have an opportunity like this.”

Matt Carey finished with a goal and three assists, while Wick and Greg Carey each contributed a goal and two assists.

“Overall, I think we’re pretty happy with it,” Wick said. “We had lots of chances and hopefully we’ll get a bunch more. Tonight also showed we have some things to work on yet — but we’re excited to get the season going.”

St. Lawrence will be playing for keeps when it opens its regular season by hosting Hockey East foe Maine at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

“All around, I’m happy with our performance tonight,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “These (exhibition) games are not always pretty, but we found ways to win, which is nice.”

The Saints had plenty of chances to work their power play in a game situation as they produced nine man-advantages, including eight over the first two periods.

Conversely, St. Lawrence killed off all six Carleton power plays, including three in the third period.

“We finally got a chance to see our power play, we’ve been working on that all week,” Carvel said. “It is still a work in progress and we have a long way to go, but some of our guys played well. And I thought our penalty killing did well.”

With the Saints trailing 1-0 after a shorthanded goal by Carleton’s Jeff Hayes 11:28 into the game, Wick drew St. Lawrence even as he banged in a Greg Carey rebound 6:17 into the middle period.

Freshman defenseman Gavin Bayreuther followed with the go-ahead goal at 15:02 just five seconds into St. Lawrence’s sixth power play, scoring on a blast from the left point after Matt Carey had won the faceoff.

“That’s what we expect from Gavin, he’s an offensive defenseman,” Carvel said of Bayreuther, one of 11 newcomers to the Saints program, including 10 freshmen. “It was good to see what some of the young guys can do.”

Greg Carey followed with the game-winning tally by speeding in and lifting a backhander past goalie Matthew Dopud 6:22 into the third period for a 3-1 advantage.

After Carleton’s Mitch Porowski scored at 9:43 to trim the lead to 3-2, Matt Carey followed with an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Senior goaltender Matt Weninger stopped 18 of 20 shots faced to earn the win for the Saints.

Sophomore Brian Ward, a transfer from Dartmouth, centered St. Lawrence’s second line, with assistant captain Gunnar Hughes on left wing and junior Patrick Doherty on the right side.

Senior captain Kyle Essery started at center on the Saints’ third line with junior Chris Martin and sophomore Sean McGovern on the wings; with the fourth line comprised of sophomore Alex Hagen and freshmen Alex Dahl and Woody Hudson at center and right wing, respectively.

“I thought some of our young guys played very well,” Carvel said. “We were able to play four lines tonight and we played hard.”

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