WEST POINT, N.Y. – Mercyhurst, backed by two power-play goals and goaltender Jimmy Sarjeant’s 28 saves, completed a weekend sweep over Army by the score of 3 -1.
“Our D-men did a pretty good job keeping them outside,” said Sarjeant. “Army is a type of team that wants to get pucks on net and drive to the net. So as a goalie, if I can slow the game down and control my rebounds, I can make our life as a team a lot easier, so for me that’s my main focus was to cover up the puck and slow the game down as much as I could.”
Army’s Josh Roberts took an elbowing penalty at 13:21 to give Mercyhurst its first power play of the game. Flashbacks from last night’s game quickly became a reality when Daniel O’Donoghue found Kyle Just at the point, who sent a quick pass to Daniel Bahntge at the far post. Bahntge went around the off-balanced Creel to find the back of the net 14:10 into the period.
Down a goal at the start of the second period, Army’s Clint Carlisle received a pass from C.J. Reuschlein and finally fired a wrist shot from the circle that went off Sarjeant’s left shoulder and into the net 32 seconds into the period.
“It was a great play,” said Reuschlein. “We just need to find more ways to bury goals. We couldn’t ask more from both of our goalies, but we need to find a way to score more goals.”
Army kept up the intensity and made Sarjeant extremely busy in net throughout the game. However, Sarjeant shutout the Black Knights after the Carlisle goal.
“You let the goal in, think about it for five seconds, but after that five seconds you let it leave your mind,” said Sarjeant. “You just focus on the next shot; same thing after a big save, you always have to worry about the next shot.”
About halfway into the second period with the game tied at one, Mercyhurst went on the attack. Creel made a couple of beautiful saves to keep the game tied, but after taking a puck to the chin which caused some blood, Army coach Brian Riley took Creel out and put in regular starter Robert Tadazak.
Mercyhurst kept up the forecheck and after two great saves by Tadazak, Edward DeWald got the rebound and beat Tadazak at 14:33, giving Mercyhurst its second lead of the game.
To the surprise of everyone, Creel, in true hockey spirit, received treatment for his cut and came back into the game to start the third period for Army.
“Tanner got hit with a puck that made a real nasty cut,” said Riley after the game. “But he wanted to go back in and said he would be ready for the third so we let him get back in there.”
Creel made three saves on four shots. The goal came once again from O’Donoghue and the Mercyhurst power play. Matthew Zay made a nifty pass from the boards and hit a wide open O’Donoghue in the slot, who slid it under Creel to give Mercyhurst the lead 3-1.
“This felt like a playoff game and Army played great,” said Mercyhurst coach Rick Gotkin. “We knew that they were not going to give up and I think Jimmy Sarjeant really saved our bacon in the first period. It could have been a lot different if he hadn’t played so well.”