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SLU goes pointless on weekend

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CANTON — Another poor start doomed the St. Lawrence University men’s hockey team Saturday night.

Joel Lowry scored a pair of power-play goals in the first period to spark Cornell past St. Lawrence, 5-2 in a spirited ECAC Hockey clash before 2,035 fans at Appleton Arena.

Brian Ferlin also scored two goals for the Big Red (4-3-1, 2-3-1 ECAC), who with the win over the No. 17-ranked Saints salvaged a weekend split in their north country trip after losing to Clarkson on Friday.

Cornell scored four goals on its first seven shots in the first period — including three scores on a stretch of only four shots to take command and chase St. Lawrence senior goalie Matt Weninger.

“We didn’t come out as hard as we should have and the puck ended up in our net too many times,” Saints assistant captain Jeremy Wick said. “They capitalized on their power plays and we had some chances early on that we didn’t put in the back of the net.”

After such a promising start in which St. Lawrence (6-4-2, 2-2-2) went unbeaten in the first two weeks of conference play (2-0-2) — all on the road — it dropped both home games this weekend, yielding five goals on each night.

“It’s very disappointing to come home and have that kind of outcome two nights in a row,” Wick continued. “So we know what we’ve got to work on and we’ll be better.”

Goalie Andy Iles made 22 saves, including all seven he faced in the third period, to prevail for the Big Red.

The four goals allowed are the most in an opening period by the Saints since yielding five in a 10-1 loss at Maine on Nov. 28, 2009.

“That’s my concern right now — we’re giving up too many goals,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “And we have to find a way to shore up defensively, and our penalty kill needs to be sharper.”

After Lowry struck for his first goal as he one-timed a cross-ice feed from Brian Ferlin past Weninger five minutes, 39 seconds into the game, the Saints drew even at 1-1 at 9:16 as Greg Carey drove the puck in off the far goal post from the top of the right faceoff circle.

But the momentum was short lived as St. Lawrence’s Gunnar Hughes was assessed a penalty 24 seconds later and Lowry roofed a shot into the top corner of the net at 10:00 for a 2-1 Cornell lead.

“It was definitely huge with the way we responded because we haven’t been playing very well lately,” Lowry said.

Then only 86 seconds later, the Big Red scored on its next shot as Ferlin buried a centering pass from Dustin Mowrey and Weninger’s night was done.

“Tonight, especially on the road against a very good hockey team, we came out with the intensity that we needed,” Cornell coach Mike Schafer said. “Andy played well, we got those two power-play goals and it was a good effort.”

Weninger yielded three goals on five shots faced in the first 11 1/2 minutes before he was replaced in by Tyler Parks for the Saints. “They jumped on us,” Carvel said. “They’ve got a very good team and their top two lines are really skilled guys and they made us pay.”

The onslaught continued as Cornell’s John McCarron stuffed in a rebound at 15:08 as Cornell built a 4-1 advantage.

“We came out focused on trying to get a good start and we didn’t,” McGovern said. “We got in some penalty trouble and Cornell has a really good power play and they took advantage of their chances.”

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