March 8, 2013
ERIE, Pa. - Mercyhurst scored three third-period goals and held on to beat Army, 3-1, Friday night in the first game of an Atlantic Hockey Association first-round playoff series at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
Army led 1-0 through two periods before the Lakers stormed back to win the opening game of a best-of-three series. Game two is Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
The game was delayed for an hour while the College Hockey America women's semifinals concluded, then Army came out and scored a first-period goal.
Andy Starczewski, off of assists from Josh Richards and Mac Lalor registered the Army tally.
Army goalie Rob Tadazak made 25 saves while Mercyhurst's Jordan Tibbett turned away 20 shots.
Mercyhurst improved to 15-15-5 while Army moved to 7-21-5.
Army killed all six Mercyhurst power plays and posted 21 shots on goal.
Army was forced to kill two power plays early in the first period and relied on the strong goaltending of Tadazak to keep the game scoreless.
Tadazak made 11 saves in the first period, eight in the second and six in the final session.
The Black Knights got on the scoreboard first, shortly after their first power play opportunity. Starczewski had the puck behind the net, cycled it out to Lalor who fed Richards near the goal line. Richards then passed to Starczewski who went high for his team-leading 11th goal of the season with 2:11 left in the opening period. It was the 11th assist for Richards and the 12th for Lalor and gave Army a 1-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes.
Each team had a pair of power play chances in the second period but Army continued to lead 1-0 after the first 40 minutes. Army had 10 shots on goal and Mercyhurst eight but both goalies kept it a one-goal game.
The Lakers tied the game with 9:22 remaining when Kyle Just followed his own rebound and netted his fourth goal of the season.
Mercyhurst took its first lead with 5:26 left to play as Zac Fischmon collected his third goal of the season off of a nice centering pass from Ryan Misiak.
Army had a power play opportunity in the final four minutes and pulled Tadazak for an extra skater with 1:15 left to play but Chris Bodo scored an empty net goal to close the scoring.
The second game of the best-of-three series will be Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
GAMES NOTES: The start of the game was delayed for an hour as the College Hockey America semifinals needed overtime to decide a winner between Syracuse and RIT ... Syracuse (2-1 OT) and Mercyhurst (2-1 over Robert Morris) will meet for the championship Saturday at 3 p.m. ... Army wore its black sweaters ... Army's starting lineup consisted of Andy Starczewski, Joe Kozlak, Maurice Alvarez, Christian Pomarico and Mac Lalor with Rob Tadazak in goal ... Tadazak made his 30th career start ... Col. Wiley Thompson served as Officer Representative ... In other first round AHA games, #5 Robert Morris beat #12 Sacred Heart, 4-1; #7 Canisius defeated #10 Bentley, 4-0 and #8 RIT edged #9 AIC, 2-1.
MERCYHURST 3, ARMY 1
ARMY - Starczewski (Richards, Lalor), 17:49
MH - Just (O'Donoghue, Mastrodicasa), 10:38
MH - Frischmon (O'Donoghue, Misiak), 14:34
MH - Bodo (Zay, Blakey), EN, 19:03
Shots: Army 21 (5-10-6); Mercyhurst 28 (11-8-9)
Saves: Army 25 (Tadazak, 59:42, 11-8-6; empty net :18); Mercyhurst 20 (Tibbett, 60:00, 4-10-6)
Power Plays: Army, 0-5; Mercyhurst, 0-6
Penalties: Army, 5-10; Mercyhurst, 6-12