ERIE, PA. — Senior defender Colleen Coakley’s unassisted goal with less than four minutes to play in regulation gave the No. 3 St. Lawrence Saints a hard-fought 2-1 win over Mercyhurst at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
The goal came after a brilliant save by Mercyhurst junior netminder Tiffany Ribble. With the puck lying in the crease, a Laker cleared it from immediate harm’s way but right onto the stick of Coakley on the left wing. Her shot found the back of the net over Ribble, who was prone on the ice.
The game was exciting throughout. The Saints scored late in the first period on an unassisted goal by junior forward Amanda Sargeant. The Lakers turned the puck over in the neutral zone and Sargeant’s blast from left wing cleanly beat Ribble.
The Lady Lakers rallied late in the second period to tie the game on a goal by sophomore forward Lindsay Barch. Barch circled the Saints’ goal and banked the puck in off sophomore goalie Rachel Barrie’s skate.
The game remained tied until late in the third when Coakley decided the affair.
St. Lawrence coach Paul Flanagan was happy to escape with a win in the team’s first contest. “Mercyhurst is a well-coached team. We were outworked at times tonight, particularly in the second period.
“I thought our goalie made some big saves to keep us in the game. We may have bent at times, but we didn’t break. Clearly, we have a lot of work to do.”
Mercyhurst coach Michael Sisti was pleased with his team’s performance. “I was proud of our effort tonight. We had a couple of breakdowns and St. Lawrence took advantage of them. That’s what good teams do. Tomorrow should be an even better game.”
Mercyhurst outshot St. Lawrence 28-27. Both teams struggled on the power play. Mercyhurst was 0-for-7 while the Saints were 0-for-6.
Mercyhurst dropped to 2-2-0 in the young season and is now 0-4-1 against St. Lawrence overall. The Saints are 1-0-0. Both teams will play again Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at the Ice Center.