ERIE, Pa. — Mercyhurst forward Stefanie Bourbeau scored a hat trick in lasts year’s CHA semifinal and copied that feat against Quinnipiac (5-26-2) in this year’s semifinal game to lead Mercyhurst (27-6-2) to a 9-1 victory in front of 325 fans at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
It took Mercyhurst 19:06 into the first period to solve Bobcat goalie Catherine Lapare but from there the goals came in bunches. Bourbeau scored with two seconds left on a 5-on-3 power play and again just 18 seconds later to put the Lakers up 2-0 to gain the all important momentum going into the first intermission.
Mercyhurst coach Mike Sisti was worried about running into a hot goaltender as has been the case so many times this season.
Before the game Sisti said, “The neat thing about hockey is that goaltending can single handedly win a hockey game.”
Sisti felt Bourbeau’s second goal was the turning point in the game.
Sisti said, “The Quinnipiac goalie played spectacular. We didn’t get frustrated and we kept playing hard, and we didn’t panic. We got those two huge power play goals and I think that was the game right there.”
Quinnipiac coach Michael Barrett’s worst fear was realized when Bourbeau scored the two quick goals.
Barrett said, “They can just finish. They did it on every single opportunity they had. We held them to 10 shots on goal in the second period and they still score three goals.”
The Lakers did make the best of their 10 chances in the second period when Danielle Lansing blasted a slap shot from the blue line that went past a screened Lapare. Bourbeau completed her hat trick at 7:29 and senior Lindsay Dellow finished the scoring in the period just 53 seconds later.
Ashley Pendleton, Samantha Shirley, Chrissy Yule and Sarah Kurth all scored in the third period to complete the rout.
Quinnipiac’s Vicky Graham scored midway through the third period to deny Laker goaltender Laura Hosier of her fourth shutout of the year. Hosier had to make 13 saves in the game. Hosier’s start gave her enough minutes to qualify for the national lead in goals against average, win percentage and save percentage.
The game’s number one star, Bourbeau,thought the game plan was executed to perfection.
Bourbeau said, “We just used our speed to our advantage and our shots were on net all night. We used the momentum from the end of the first period and it carried us.”
Mercyhurst’s defense played exceptional as usual in allowing only 14 shots all game. Junior defenseman Danielle Lansing was key in taking care of the defensive zone.
“We played real defensive on their blue line,” Lansing said. “They never got into our zone very often. Our regroup was very good, and they couldn’t get much of a chance to score.”
The defense is going to have to be on top of their game again tomorrow against Niagara in the CHA championship game at 2 p.m. in the Mercyhurst Ice Center.