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College Hockey:
Small Stops 46 Shots as Mercyhurst Sweeps Bentley

— Freshman goaltender Tyler Small made 46 saves as Mercyhurst completed a season sweep of Bentley College with a 5-2 win Saturday night in Atlantic Hockey action at the John A. Ryan Skating Arena. With the win, Mercyhurst moved to within a point of first place Holy Cross, while Bentley remains winless (0-6-3) in its last nine games.

Mercyhurst (18-10-0, 16-6-0 AHA) jumped out to the early lead just 2:12 into the game as junior forward Kyle Gourgon netted his 11th goal of the season. A shot by Kirk Medernach from the right point was redirected by Gourgon over senior goaltender Geordan Murphy’s left shoulder.

Following the goal, Bentley would control play for the remainder of the first period. The Falcons would even the game 7:59 into the first period as freshman Jeff Gumaer scored his team-leading 12th goal of year. Senior Brendan McCartin broke into the right side of the Mercyhurst zone and forced Small to make a kick save on his shot. The rebound trickled through traffic in front of the net, and Gumaer shot past Small to even the game.

Small continued to be peppered by the Falcon attack but made 19 saves to keep the Lakers even heading into the first intermission. Bentley’s momentum carried over to the start of the second period as Bentley outshot the Lakers 12-2 before Ben Cottreau scored against the run of play to put Mercyhurst ahead 8:02 into the second period. Junior Scott Champagne led the Lakers in on a three-on-one break, and Champagne made a sharp pass across the slot to Cottreau, who jammed the puck home at the back post before Murphy could slide across the crease.

Bentley (9-14-5, 7-10-5 AHA) continued to pressure the Laker net and evened the game five minutes later through McCartin. Junior defenseman Kyle Larman found McCartin in the right circle, and McCartin hit a slap shot that Small got a piece of but could not keep out of the net. However, the Bentley dominance in shots, which was 38-20 at the end of the second period, was no consolation after Brett Robinson put the Lakers back on top with 58 second remaining in the period.

After keeping the Mercyhurst power play pretty much in check for the first five periods of the weekend series, the Lakers would score a pair of power-play goals through Dave Borrelli in the third period. Champagne set up the first 3:06 into the final stanza, while the final tally came with exactly seven minutes reaming in the game. The Lakers controlled play for much of the third period, thanks in part to five Bentley penalties, holding a 19-10 advantage in shots.

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