Mercyhurst out-scores Air Force, 7-5
Feb. 2, 2007
U.S.A.F. ACADEMY, Colo. - Mercyhurst goalie Jordan Wakefield made 50 saves and the Lakers scored seven goals on 24 shots in a 7-5 win over Air Force in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday night, Feb. 2, at the Cadet Ice Arena.
Air Force fell to 13-11-5 overall and 10-6-5 in the AHA. Mercyhurst improved to 7-16-5 overall and 7-12-3. Air Force stays in fourth place in the league with 25 points while Mercyhurst is still in eighth place with 17 points.
Just over five minutes into the first period, the Lakers scored on their first shot as Matt Warren netted his fourth of the season with a wrister from the left circle. With 2:18 left in the period, Cody Collins scored after Falcon turnover in the neutral zone that led to a rush up ice. Collins put back a shot by Ryan Toomey.
The Falcons scored the next three goals of the game to take a 3-2 lead. Just 18 seconds into the second period, Andrew Ramsey scored from Eric Ehn and Mike Phillipich after a centering pass from the corner. Six minutes later, Jay Medenwaldt scored his first of the season to tie the game at 2-2. His rebound goal came from Billy Devoney and linemate Bryan Becker. AFA took its first lead of the game when Josh Frider scored his sixth of the season at the 9:58 mark from David Martinson and Theo Zacour.
The lead was short-lived as the Lakers scored two minutes later. Toomey scored on the power-play after Matt Fennell's shot from the point was saved. With 4:01 remaining, Kyle Gourgon scored for a 4-3 lead from Collins and Toomey. After a turnover in AFA's own end, Gourgon put back a rebound of Collins' shot. Then 51 seconds later, the Lakers built a 5-3 lead as Matt Pierce scored from Warren and Derek Fisher. Warren made a centering pass from behind the net and Pierce scored at the 16:50 mark as MC scored three goals in five minutes.
Mercyhurst took a 6-3 lead early in the third period on a goal by Kirk Medernach. His wrister from the left dot beat AFA goalie Ben Worker. His first of the season came from Gourgon and Toomey. After the goal, Worker was pulled in favor of freshman Andrew Volkening.
The Falcons again battled back with two goals from Jeff Hajner in a span of two minutes to cut the deficit to 6-5. His first goal came on the power play at 12:30. After Ramsey escaped from pressure in the corner, he found Hajner wide open at the far post. With 5:26 remaining, Hajner skated the puck down the left wing, went around the net and snuck the puck in on the wrap-around for his eighth of the season. Brandon Johnson and Greg Flynn assisted on the play to get the Falcons within one.
However, with 3:36 remaining, Air Force turned the puck over at the Laker blue line and started an odd-man rush. Mike Phillipich was called for hooking in the neutral zone and Mercyhurst again capitalized. Cottreau scored the power-play goal with 2:15 remaining for a 7-5 lead.
"This Mercyhurst team is the one that was picked to win the league in the preseason poll," head coach Frank Serratore said. "They have some players back from injury and I believe that they have the best set of forwards in the league. They are dynamic and opportunistic. Our hard work resulted in a lot of shots, but I don't know if we had any more quality chances then they did. We have to match their intensity defensively and we had some breakdowns. When you do, they make you pay."
Air Force out-shot Mercyhurst, 55-24, in the game. Wakefield made 50 saves for the Lakers. Worker started the game for Air Force was took the loss. He played 45 minutes and gave up six goals on 17 shots. Volkening finished the game and made six saves. Mercyhurst was 2-for-5 on the power play while AFA was 1-for-5.
The same two teams conclude the series Saturday, Feb. 3 at 7:05 p.m. at the Cadet Ice Arena.