TROY, N.Y. — Ben Barr scored twice, including a shorthanded goal late in the second period, to help the Rensselaer Engineers to a 5-3 victory over the Mercyhurst Lakers.
With a 3-2 lead in the second, skating shorthanded, the Engineers saw the Lakers hit the post and then the crossbar before Barr raced down the ice after a Laker defenseman stumbled. Barr went high over the shoulder of Matt Cifelli and put momentum squarely in the Engineers’ hands.
“That changed the game,” said Engineer head coach Dan Fridgen. “We’re only up by one and him getting that goal relaxed us a little bit.”
“It was that kind of night,” said Laker head coach Rick Gotkin. “But before we got the shorthanded goal, we hit the posts and they got the huge shorthanded goal. Our guy then stumbles in the middle and it was a killer.”
The Engineers made it 5-2 in the third when Nick Economakos found the puck in the slot and snapped it through a screen past Cifelli. The Lakers got one back on the power play later in the third, when David Wrigley slapped the puck over Nathan Marsters’ shoulder, but that was all the Lakers would get.
“I thought we competed and played hard tonight,” said Gotkin. “RPI’s just got a little more talent than we do and they were opportunistic. From an effort standpoint, we’re disappointed we weren’t successful, but we competed hard.”
The Lakers scored first in the game when Adam Tackaberry was fed on a two-on-one in front from Wrigley and tapped home an easy goal.
The Engineers scored the next two. Scott Romfo’s slapshot from the blue line hit Carson Butterwick’s stick shaft and went past Cifelli, and Mikael Hammarstrom scored on the power play when Cifelli bounced the rebound off the back of his own defenseman. The puck landed in front of Hammarstrom and the open net.
The scoring in the first period wasn’t done; the Lakers tied the game when David Borelli scored on the power play, and another odd bounce saw the puck go straight to Barr, who managed to bounce it past Cifelli for the 3-2 lead.
“We did a good job of shooting the puck,” said Fridgen. “Look at Nick’s goal, then Carson went to the net. Scott Romfo put it right off of his shaft — we have to buy him a new shaft — but that’s okay. The other goals, was just getting to the net and getting opportunities. We created them down low and played a puck possession game that allowed us to do that.”
“No one likes to lose and no one accepts it, but it’s a lot easier when you play like we did tonight and not like we did last Saturday (against Iona in a loss),” said Gotkin. “The bottom line is that we didn’t want it last Saturday and tonight we did, but we didn’t have enough to get the win.”
The Lakers will travel to Colorado College and Denver next weekend while the Engineers go back to ECAC action, traveling to Brown and Harvard.