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College Hockey:
Mercyhurst Uses PP to Overcome Bentley

— Mercyhurst College scored five power play goals to come from behind for a 7-4 win over Bentley College Friday night in Atlantic Hockey action at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. With the win Mercyhurst improved to 8-6-0 and 7-2-0, while Bentley fell to 5-6-2 and 3-2-2.

Mercyhurst tied the game midway through the third period as Scott Champagne (Cornwall, Ont.) fed Ryan Toomey for a one-time finish to the back post on the power play.

The game-winner came with just 2:37 to play as the Lakers converted their fifth power play of the game. A cross-ice pass from Matt Warren set up Kyle Gourgon who beat Ray Jean with a shot to the upper corner just inside the near post to give the Lakers the lead. Mercyhurst added a pair of late empty net goals, the only non-power play goals all night for the Lakers, to push the final margin to three goals.

Mercyhurst started the game brightly carrying play in the opening minutes of play. Just 1:26 after the opening whistle, Jean was called upon to keep the Falcons even. The Lakers broke into the left side of the Bentley zone and Champagne was hit was a cross-ice pass at the back post, but Jean came across the crease and made a spectacular reaction save to deny Champagne’s one-time chance.

Bentley would grab the opener at 6:09 of the first period on sophomore Paul Scalici’s second goal of the season. Senior forward Jermey Chase shot from the slot was denied by junior goaltender Mike Ella, but the rebound popped back out in front of the goal and after a scramble Scalici slid the puck past Ella to put Bentley on top.

The Falcons doubled the lead just 23 seconds before the end of the period. The Lakers were caught up ice and a clearance by senior Ryan Lessnau off the boards sprung freshman Anthony Canzoneri and senior Brendan McCartin on a two-on-one break. Canzoneri carried the puck into the left side of the Laker zone and beat Ella to the far post from the center of left circle for his third goal of the season.

Mercyhurst came out flying in the second period and took the lead within ten minutes, thanks in part to Bentley penalties. The first of the three Laker power play goals in the period came at 3:03 as Scott Reynolds tipped home a pass in front of the net by Jamie Hunt. The game was even just 2:32 later as Dave Borrelli beat Jean near post on a shot from the slot.

The Lakers took the lead 9:27 into the period as Reynolds spotted Ben Cottreau open in front of the net from the right point. Reynold’s pass was redirected by Cottreau and past Jean and the Lakers had turned the game around in less than ten minutes of play.

Bentley hit right back to tie the game just over two minutes later with a two man advantage. Senior Ryan Mayhew collected the puck in the right corner and hit Lessnau in the slot. Lessnau ripped a wrist shot past Ella to knot the game back at three.

The Falcons scored a shorthanded goal with 3:14 to go in the second period to retake the lead. Junior Marc Zwicky blocked a shot in the defensive zone and skated on to the loose puck and in on a breakaway. His shot was stopped by Ella, but Zwicky chased down the puck behind the net and passed to senior Paul Markarian in front of the goal. Markarian roofed the puck past Ella and gave the Falcons a one goal lead heading into the locker room after a wild second period.

Ella picked up the win making 23 saves on the evening, while Jean made 36 saves in net for Bentley. The real difference in the game was the fact that Mercyhurst converted when they had the man advantage scoring on 5 of the ten power play opportunities.

The two teams meet again Saturday night at the Mercyhurst Ice Center at 7:00.

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