DETROIT — After maintaining a one goal lead throughout the majority of the first 40 minutes, the Wayne State hockey team eventually fell short to the Mercyhurst Lakers, 5-2.
The short-benched Warriors ( 5-6-0) were down forwards Marlee Fisher, Lauren Ragen, Rachel Hardwick, Jenaya Townsend and Julie Ingratta due to injuries.
“We need to find a way to play 60 minutes,” said Wayne State head coach Jim Fetter. “I thought we battled, we competed, we played hard today and I don’t want to make excuses but fatigue obviously set in; we’re basically going two lines and five Ds [defensemen]. It definitely caught up with them.”
Warriors Veronique Laramee-Paquette and Gina Buquet each lit the lamp. Laramee-Paquette opened the scoring contest midway through the first period and recorded an assist late in the second.
“We normally play well when we score the first goal,” said Laramee-Paquette.
Buquet’s tie-breaker was scored right in front of Hillary Pattenden, just three minutes after Lakers’ Jess Jones banked one in. The Warriors held on to a one goal lead for the what was only the second all-time against Mercyhurst in regulation.
“We came in the dressing room and had a good talk,” said Vicki Bendus, who tallied her eighth goal of the season. “We have a lot of veterans on our team that know what it takes to win games so we just had to get back and play our game.”
Melissa Lacroix scored a shot from the slot that put a damper on the Warriors defense and deflated their momentum. Shortly after Pamela Zgoda’s shot at 13:53 broke the tie and lifted the Lakers 3-2. Bendus and Christie Cicero sealed the Lakers win with two power-play goals.
“They scored their first goal and after that the momentum just kind of went down for us.” Laramee-Paquette said. “Then we got a penalty and they scored another goal.”
Just over a minute after, Lakers’ Christie Cicero then deflected in a power play goal from Melissa Lacroix and Christine Bestland that sealed the win. Delayne Brian and Hillary Pattenden faced a combined total of 65 shots respectively.
“It just hurts when you get a couple penalties that are from your leaders,” Fetter said. “Penalties caught up with us and that was the difference today.”