ERIE, Pa. — Mercyhurst broke open its Atlantic Hockey quarterfinal with four goals in the third period to defeat Canisius 7-2 Saturday evening at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
The win, in just the second-ever playoff meeting between the teams, sends the Lakers to next weekend’s Atlantic Hockey semifinals.
Mercyhurst defenseman Jamie Hunt sent a shot from the top of the right circle on the Lakers’ first power play of the game. Freshman goaltender Dan Giffin was screened and Hunt’s shot found the bottom left corner of the net for his 27th goal of the season.
Canisius tied the game at 1 when the Griffs converted on a power play of their own, pressuring the Lakers throughout the entire penalty. Freshman Tommy Flikeid found a loose puck in front of the Mercyhurst net and powered it into the goal for his third tally of the season.
The Lakers had a 5-on-3 advantage midway through the second period but scored a goal just as the penalty on Tim Songin expired. Dave Borrelli knocked in the puck from in front of the net as the Lakers took a 2-1 lead.
Just 13 seconds later, the Griffs tied the game at 2-2 when Flikeid scored his second goal of the night. Junior Jaymie Harrington took two shots at Mercyhurst goaltender Tyler Small, who stopped the first but allowed the second to get behind him.
Flikeid knocked it in and became the fourth player in school history to score two goals in a postseason game.
Mercyhurst took a 3-2 lead when Matt Warren led 3-on-2 rush up the left side. He dropped it to Chris Trafford, who put it into the upper right corner of the net for the goal with 4:04 left in the second.
The Griffs almost tied it late in the second when Songin’s shot on a Canisius power play hit the left pipe, but the frame ended with Mercyhurst still up.
As the power play extended into the third period, Canisius turned the puck over and Ryan Toomey created a breakaway. He beat Giffin through the five-hole to score a shorthanded goal 47 seconds into the third period.
Mercyhurst continued to score throughout the third period, adding an even strength, power play and empty-net goal to provide the final margin.
Giffin made 38 saves, which set a school postseason record for Canisius. Small made 29 to get the win.