ERIE, Pa. — Prior to Sunday’s game against Connecticut, Mercyhurst coach Mike Sisti was still upset with the play of his team in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Providence.
“We obviously have to play a lot better than we did yesterday,” he said. “We had good energy but we were extremely sloppy in all areas of our game. If we play the way we did yesterday, we probably won’t be successful today.”
The Lakers (11-5-2) instead played up to their No. 5 national ranking with a comfortable 4-1 win over the Huskies (6-8-4) to complete a weekend split. Senior Teresa Marchese notched two goals and two assists in figuring on every Laker goal.
Mercyhurst opened the scoring at 11:06 of the first period when Marchese found Shirley all alone in front of the net on the power play. Stefanie Bourbeau quickly extended the lead to 2-0 just 3:20 into the second period.
Tiffany Owens cut the deficit to 2-1 for UConn just 29 seconds later as she scored with her back turned to the net through heavy traffic. Laker freshman goalie Laura Hosier never saw it coming.
Marchese scored her first goal in the third period on a nice feed from Bourbeau behind the net. She later finished the scoring on a give-and-go with freshman Stephanie Jones. The third period went by quickly as no penalties were called.
Hosier only had to make 15 saves in getting her third win of the season. Husky goalie Kaitlyn Shain had a much harder time in stopping 31 shots.
Connecticut had its best chance to tie the game midway through the second period, but a controversial crease violation disallowed what could have been a goal by UConn forward Angie Wallace. Afterwards the wind seemed to come out of the Huskies’ sails as they struggled to mount pressure for the rest of the game.
Connecticut was coming in off a shutout win over Niagara yesterday. Coach Heather Linstad thought her team has been progressing well as of late.
Said Linstad: “We have been playing a lot of ranked teams in the first half and finished with a tough loss against Harvard because we had them, 3-1. Same thing with Brown last week, but I think we are getting there. Our ultimate goal is to play the toughest schedule so we can be successful in our conference.”
Next week Mercyhurst travels to Wayne State to renew their conference rivalry for a pair. Connecticut will do a home-and-home with Hockey East rival Providence.