ERIE, Pa. — The Sacred Heart Pioneers scored four special-teams goals, three on the power play, and cruised to an 8-3 win over Mercyhurst Friday night at the Ice Center.
The Pioneers scored twice in the first, added four more in the second, and two in the third to steadily outdistance the Lakers.
Sacred Heart jumped to a 2-0 lead after one, getting power-play goals from junior forward Marc-Andre Fournier and sophomore forward Garrett Larson.
Mercyhurst closed to 2-1 early in the second when freshman forward Erik Johnson scored his fifth of the season. But the Pioneers quickly countered on a goal by sophomore defenseman Ryan Bremner to reclaim their two-goal lead at 3-1.
Mercyhurst freshman netminder Andy Franck was whistled for a 10-minute misconduct following the Bremner tally and was replaced by freshman Ryan Kobel. By the time Franck returned to action late in the period, the Pioneers had stretched their lead to 6-2.
The Lakers closed to within 6-3 early in the third when freshman defenseman Conrad Martin lit the lamp for the third time this season, but Sacred Heart dashed any Mercyhurst hopes of a comeback by scoring the final two goals of the game.
Fournier, who entered the game with six goals, finished with a hat trick while Larson had a goal and three assists. Fourteen different skaters had at least one point and six different players scored goals for the Pioneers.
Sacred Heart outshot Mercyhurst 41-29 in winning for the second straight time at the Ice Center. The Pioneers blanked Mercyhurst 5-0 nearly a year ago, ending Mercyhurst’s 23-game conference unbeaten streak. The Lakers still lead the all-time series 6-3-1.
The victory squared the season series at a game apiece, improved SHU’s overall record to 9-11-6 and its MAAC mark to 9-8-3. The Lakers, who had a chance to take over undisputed possession of first place in the MAAC, dropped to 14-11-2 and 14-4-2.
The Lakers and Pioneers will tangle again Saturday night in their final meeting of the regular season.