Men's hockey prepare for playoff push

There is a month left in the regular season of Men’s Hockey regular, and the team is hoping to stay atop the AHA standings.

If the Lakers stay in the top four at the end of the regular season, they will receive a first round bye in the playoffs.

Being able to receive a first round bye gives the team a much needed break and time to study their opponents. The team is currently in second place in the standings behind Niagara University.

The squad must not let teams jump to an early lead because they dig themselves into a hole right away.

“We need to stick to our systems when the going gets tough. It’s hard to play from behind against any team in our league,” said junior defensemen Nick Jones.
Junior Kyle Just skates down the ice with authority.: Sam Rappi photoJunior Kyle Just skates down the ice with authority.: Sam Rappi photo
Having the opportunity to receive a first round bye, the Lakers must jump on teams early instead of getting down early. They need to start getting the lead and holding it down this playoff stretch.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, the Lakers took on Army at the Mercyhurst Ice Center (MIC).

The Lakers had a dominating performance posting an 8-1 victory. Many Lakers contributed to the win.

Sophomore forward Ryan Misiak had a hat trick and a career high four points; while more of his teammates contributed with points. Jones contributed with three points in the win.

“Special teams played a big role, especially our penalty kill. We got some huge kills that helped get the guys going and spurred some offense. A lot of guys were rewarded for doing the little things right,” Jones said.

Former Mercyhurst goalie Ryan Zapolski is leaping higher in the ECHL. He was recently named to the ECHL All-Star team. He did not allow a goal in the second period of the All-Star game when he was inserted. The ECHL team was down 2-1 when he entered and the ECHL All-Stars won 6-2. After the game, Zapolski was awarded the game’s MVP award.

The Lakers will be back home Feb. 8 and 9 to face Air Force Academy for a big weekend series at the MIC.