ERIE, Pa. — Two third-period goals led Mercyhurst to a 4-2 victory over Canisius Saturday night at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. The loss, combined Connecticut and Holy Cross wins, drops the Griffs to seventh place in the league and sets up a return matchup between the Griffs and Lakers next Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs.
Senior captain Fred Coccimiglio set the school record for most games played by appearing in his 135th contest in a Canisius uniform. Senior defenseman Tim Songin tied the school record for most games by a defenseman with his 134th appearance, which is also held by Tom Wnuk.
Mercyhurst took the lead with 9:01 left in the first period when Ryan Toomey hit forward Scott Champagne who was cutting down the slot. Champagne slid the puck into the lower left corner of the net for his 15th goal of the season.
Lakers forward Kirk Medernach picked up a five-minute major and game misconduct for his check from behind on forward Billy Irish-Baker at 13:54 of the first period, giving the Griffs a five-on-three for 1:18, but the Blue and Gold couldn’t convert on the two-man advantage, leaving the score 1-0 after the first period.
Canisius tied the game at 1-1 with 2:36 remaining in the second period when Songin kept an attempted Mercyhurst clear in the Griffs’ offensive zone. Fred Coccimiglio took the puck off the right boards and found a wide open Jaymie Harrington on the left side of the net. Harrington shot it into the upper left corner of the net for his fourth goal of the season and second in two nights.
Mercyhurst took a 2-1 lead early in the third period when Ben Cottreau shot the puck from the left circle and got it past a screened Dan Giffin. The Lakers extended their lead to 3-1 when Matt Pierce skated up the left side, had his first shot blocked by a Giffin, and knocked in his own rebound for his fourth goal of the season.
The Griffs cut the lead in half when Billy Irish-Baker scored a shorthanded goal the second of his career with 10:55 left in the contest to make the score 3-2. Following Irish-Baker’s goal, Songin went to the penalty box for hooking, giving the Lakers 47 seconds of a two-man advantage, which the Griffs killed, as well as the remaining 1:13 of Songin’s penalty.
Matt Warren added an empty netter to provide the final difference.