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Carey, Flanagan are Hobey Baker finalists

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The St. Lawrence University hockey team’s season may be over, but the program continues to experience history.

Forwards Greg Carey and Kyle Flanagan were both selected as top 10 finalists for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award on Thursday — marking the first time two Saints have achieved this honor in the same year.

Flanagan, a senior center and Canton native, and Carey, a junior winger, join seven other Saints in the program’s history to be garner top 10 Hobey Baker Award finalist status.

“That’s a tremendous compliment to the program, to our coaching staff and to our team — and to St. Lawrence University,” said Flanagan, who is the first local and hometown player to recieve this recognition since Potsdam native Craig Conroy was a finalist in 1994 with Clarkson University. “For me and I’m sure Greg would agree — the biggest thing for us is not individual accolades. They’re great, but at the same time what comes with that is representing our school. The fact that it says St. Lawrence twice on that list is quite a compliment.”

St. Lawrence is now just the fourth ECAC Hockey team to have two players named to the Hobey Baker’s top 10 list since the inception of the award in 1981 and joins a select group of conference teams to have three players selected as first team all-stars in the same season.

“College hockey is a lot of fun,” Carey said. “So to be selected as one of finalists is an honor, the other nine players selected are fantastic hockey players. ... To have two players from St. Lawrence on that list, including Kyle, shows how special and how far this program has come in the past couple years.”

The duo, which teamed up on perhaps the most prolific scoring lines in the nation this season, are just the second linemates in ECAC history to garner top 10 Hobey Baker recognition, joining Vermont’s Martin St. Louis and Eric Perrin, both finalists in 1996.

“This is rare and it’s very special for this program,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “It was a real pleasure for me in my first year as a head coach to have two guys play so exceptionally and so consistently all year long.”

Both Carey and Flanagan are St. Lawrence’s first top 10 finalists in six seasons — with defenseman Drew Bagnall the last in 2007.

“Most importantly, it’s a great accomplishment for those two young men who have contributed a lot to this sport and our program,” Carvel said. “They make us proud in a lot of ways.”

Flanagan and Carey were also selected as All-ECAC Hockey first teamers along with teammate and senior defenseman George Hughes.

Carey, who won the ECAC scoring title and generated an 11-game goal-scoring streak which tied a school record, leads the nation in goals (28), power-play goals (14) and goals per game (0.74) and stands second in points (51).

“Greg just brought his game to another level,” Carvel said of Carey, who is a history major with a 3.51 GPA, was on the 2012 dean’s list and is a three-time All-Academic player. “He’s always been a goal scorer, but I think he added more to his game this year and became more of a complete player.”

Flanagan ranks ninth in the country in scoring with 47 points, is third in assists per game (0.91) and is fourth in both assists (47) and points per game (1.34).

“Kyle’s always been a special player,” Carvel said of the 24-year-old Flanagan, who had 15 multiple-point games this season. “He’s the kind of kid that when you watch a game it doesn’t matter who you are — he stands out. Greg scores goals like no one else — but Kyle is more of a playmaker, who has tremendous vision and is one of the best forwards to ever play at St. Lawrence.”

Sidelined for 11 days, including the final weekend of the regular season, after undergoing an appendectomy on Feb. 26, Flanagan returned to lead the Saints to a first-round ECAC playoff sweep of Colgate.

After St. Lawrence was swept by Yale in the quarterfinals last weekend, Flanagan signed with the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

“In the past few days, it’s been just in the back of my mind with everything that’s happened,” said Flanagan, who learned of the news Thursday while he was en route to Glens Falls, where he’ll report to the American Hockey League’s Philadelphia Phantoms today. “I’m very thrilled and very excited. ... I feel very honored, but also proud of the year both the team and I had.”

The other Hobey Baker Award finalists from St. Lawrence were Pete Lappin (1988), Daniel Laperriere (1992), Blake Murphy (1996), Eric Heffler (1999), Erik Anderson (2001) and T.J. Trevelyan.

Carey, Flanagan and Hughes are just the second trio from St. Lawrence to earn All-ECAC first-team honors in the same season, joining Erik Anderson, Matt Desrosiers and Mike Gellard (2000-01). Hughes is the nation’s leading defenseman in points (37), assists (32) and assists per game (0.97).

In addition, Clarkson University freshman defenseman Paul Geiger was named to the ECAC’s all-rookie team.

The Hobey Baker Award’s top three finalists will be announced on April 3 and with the Hobey Baker Award winner will be unveiled on April 12 at the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh.

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