BURLINGTON, Vt — The Alabama- Huntsville Chargers crushed the Mercyhurst Lakers, 4-1, Sunday afternoon in the consolation game of the Catamount Cup at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Though Mercyhurst took a 1-0 lead in the second period, it was all Chargers from there, as four different players recorded goals.
Junior Vince Bruni, senior Kevin Morrison, senior Brandon Roshko, and senior Cale Tanaka scored for UAH, while freshman Charlie Carkin scored the only goal for Mercyhurst
“We didn’t play very good tonight, probably one of the worst games we’ve played all year, but I give Huntsville a lot of credit because I thought they played really well,” Mercyhurst coach Rick Gotkin said. “I think we played better last night in our 6-0 loss than we did today; that was fairly close for a while but I just don’t think we had enough guys that made enough plays, enough urgency at times.”
“We’re happy to get the win here today; wish we were playing in the championship, but I thought our guys battled,” Alabama-Huntsville coach Danton Cole said.
UAH had opportunities to score in the opening period. Just over five minutes into the game, senior Tom Train fired a wrist shot from just above the right circle, but the shot was stopped by sophomore goaltender Max Strang.
The Chargers almost scored again with 12:47 left to play in the period when Strang stepped out of the net to try to knock the puck out of the zone. Players raced to put the puck in the net, but Strang was able to scramble back and make the stop as players crowded around the crease.
UAH also played aggressively during their only power play opportunity in the period. As Mercyhurst sophomore Kevin Noble served an interference penalty, the Chargers largely kept the puck in the offensive zone and had chances to score, but they couldn’t get the puck to go past Strang. At one point in the power play, Roshko passed the puck to junior Andrew Coburn near the blue line and Coburn made a strong wrist shot, but Strang made the stop again.
Mercyhurst got a power play of their own later in the period and the shots began to even out after UAH had been out shooting Mercyhurst 7-2. The period ended with UAH out shooting Mercyhurst 11-8.
The scoring action increased in the second period as Mercyhurst took the lead early in the period at .33, when Carkin put the puck past junior goalie Cameron Talbot, assisted by senior Chris Risi.
UAH got it back just minutes later at 5:08 when freshman Curtis Debruyn had the puck at the blue line and shot it towards the net. Bruni was there to knock the puck into the net as Strang fell to the ice and the net was knocked out of place.
The Chargers took lead at 16:20 when Morrison put the puck directly behind Strang, from close to the crease, assisted by freshmen Justin Cseter and Keenan Desmet
A four-on-four started off the third period at 5:19, when Carkin and UAH junior Neil Ruffini were sent to the penalty box for hitting after the whistle.
During the four-on-four, Morrison took the puck up the ice and fired a wrister from the slot, but couldn’t get the puck to cross the goal line.
It wasn’t long before UAH scored again, at 8:31 when Roshko scored from the side of the net.
Mercyhurst took a timeout with 2:58 left to play in the game and then pulled Strang from the net for an offensive boost.
The strategy didn’t work as planned. Just as Strang was exiting the ice at 18:44, Tanaka made a wrist shot from the blue line and slid the puck into the empty net for the final goal.
With the win, the Chargers took third place in the Catamount Cup.