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Miller sparks Yale men’s hockey team past SLU

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CANTON — Despite another encouraging effort by St. Lawrence University, this night belonged to Andrew Miller and the Yale hockey team.

Miller scored a goal and generated two assists, including setting up Nicholas Weberg’s game winner as the Bulldogs rallied past the Saints for a 5-3 ECAC Hockey victory on Friday before 1,120 at Appleton Arena.

Antoine Laganiere scored the go-ahead goal for Yale (8-4-3, 4-3-1), which swept the regular-season series and won for the first time at in Canton in five seasons.

“It was an ugly win,” said Miller, who surpassed the 100-assist plateau for the Bulldogs. “But it’s my first win in four years up here, so it’s nice to get one. We always play well up here, but it’s nice to finally get it done here.”

With the setback, St. Lawrence (8-10-2, 1-5-2) suffered its third consecutive league loss and now sits alone in last place in the conference.

“It was a great effort,” Saints senior captain Kyle Flanagan said. “It seems like coach is always saying ‘we should have won that game,’ but we end up losing. ... We want to start moving up that ladder in the league, but we feel tonight was a good step forward.”

“I was happy with the effort,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “We wanted to be physical, we wanted to be hard to play against — and I thought we were. At this point, nobody wants our record, but I don’t think anybody really wants to play us.”

Laganiere put the Bulldogs ahead for good nine minutes, 43 seconds into the third period with a power-play goal as he took a crossing feed from Trent Ruffolo and banged the puck into the right side of the net.

“That was a bit of scramble, I think we had a stick on the puck but couldn’t get it down the ice,” Carvel said. “I think their first goal was scramble, too, as well as their second goal ... They’ve got some skilled guys on that team and they made us pay for it.”

Weberg followed with the deciding goal by at 13:09 when he found himself alone in front of Saints goalie Matt Weninger (33 saves).

“It was a really hard-fought win,” Yale coach Keith Allain said. “I think they (the Saints) are a terrific hockey team, they’re always hard to beat up here. ... We got some scoring from some different areas; our second power-play unit really came through for us.”

Jeff Malcolm finished with 36 saves, including 25 over the final two periods, including getting a piece of a Chris Martin shot with 3:40 remaining.

The Bulldogs scored a pair of power-play goals while the Saints didn’t score on just two man-advantage opportunities.

“I think the power plays were the difference,” Carey said. “We didn’t score on ours while we had some good chances ... but you can’t win many games giving up two power-play goals.”

The Saints were unbeaten in their last four home games (3-0-1) against Yale.

Flanagan had provided with a 2-1 edge as he worked his way along the right wall and snapped a shot over Malcolm at 7:05 of the second period.

Yale drew even at 2-2 on the power play as Stu Wilson converted on Ruffolo’s cross-ice pass at 9:43 of the second.

In the opening period, St. Lawrence responded only 25 seconds after Yale’s Kenny Agostino scored the first goal of the game as Carey scored on a Jeremy Wick rebound at 13:18 to draw the Saints even at 1-1.

“We’re playing good hockey and as long as we keep getting better — that’s the important thing,” Flanagan said.

St. Lawrence will try again to break through in league play at 7 tonight when it hosts Brown, a 3-2 winner over Clarkson on Friday.

“We’ve got to start to win in the league, we know that,” Carey said. “Every game we’re coming prepared and we’re working hard. We’ve got to fight and claw our way and try and make it up the standings.”

Concluded Carvel: “Everybody makes the playoffs in this league. I told the guys, ‘you’ve got to be committed to getting better every game’ and if we do this, we can make a run.”

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