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College hockey: Parks, Baker ignite Saints to victory


CANTON — After enduring a pair of difficult losses, St. Lawrence’s resolve didn’t waver on this night.

Freshman goaltender Tyler Parks made 20 saves to win his first collegiate start and defenseman Justin Baker recorded a four-point night, as the Saints outlasted Northeastern, 6-4, on Saturday in a nonconference game before 1,685 at Appleton Arena to cap off the school’s hockey alumni weekend.

Jeremy Wick and Matt Carey contributed two goals each for St. Lawrence (4-2), which rebounded from two straight losses to hand the 20th-ranked Huskies (5-1) their first setback of the season.

“We wanted to be really hard to play against tonight,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “We were looking for some redemption after the way we played [Friday] night and I think we responded very well.”

In the wake of Friday night’s 6-3 loss to Northeastern in which the Saints squandered a two-goal lead, the St. Lawrence coaching staff decided to shake up the lineup.

They turned to Parks in place of senior Matt Weninger. Parks responded in a big way in his debut, particularly in the third period when he stopped 12 of 13 shots to hold off the Huskies.

“I was pretty nervous with it being my first college hockey game — it’s was a big moment,” Parks said. “But my team definitely helped me out so much, they were blocking shots for me and were just battling for me the whole game.”

Parks got the nod over Weninger, who had made a school-record 54 consecutive starts through Friday.

Said Carvel: “[Parks] made that huge save for us in the first minute, and we got some momentum early on. I think he was really tested late in the game, and he made some big saves. I think he played really steady.”

The Saints, who generated their biggest offensive production of the season, scored three-power play goals, including one each from Wick and Carey within a span of 2 1/2 minutes in the second period to take control.

“I thought we started off OK for a while, but then we took some penalties,” Northeastern coach Jim Madigan said. “There were some questionable calls, and they have a good power play — if you put them on the power play they’re going to convert and they did.”

After St. Lawrence built a 3-1 edge, Northeastern drew within one when John Stevens scored on a rebound at 11:55 of the middle period.

This time, the Saints held fast as Wick took a sharp cross-ice pass from Baker and fired a one-timer past goalie Derick Roy at 15:02.

“We were excited to get those couple goals there,” Carey said. “When Wick scored that one goal, I think our whole bench just went insane because we really wanted this win.”

Baker also set up their next man-advantage goal by sending a pass to Carey, who buried the puck into the right side of the goal for a 5-2 lead at 17:18.

“To a man, I thought everyone’s game was a little bit better tonight,” Carvel said. “Baker was an absolute star with what he did with the puck, the goal he scored and the plays he made.”

St. Lawrence generated five power-play goals over the past two games after managing only two over its first four outings.

“We’ve been practicing pretty hard the past couple weeks with our power play,” said senior Greg Carey. “We’ve gotten a lot of good looks with it, but it just comes down to getting comfortable and trying to get back in the groove with the new guys we have.”

Braden Pimm scored in the final minute of the second period for Northeastern, which would get no closer than two goals as Patrick Doherty followed with an unassisted empty-net goal with 1:53 left in the game.

“I think we learned some lessons from last night,” Carvel said. “We played well for 60 minutes against a team, which has good skill.”

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