Men’s hockey advances in the playoffs


Sydney Dietz, Sports editor

The Mercyhurst men’s hockey team played in the first round of the Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament on Friday March 4, and Saturday March 5 against the Holy Cross Crusaders. Both games were at the Mercyhurst Ice Center and resulted in a win.

The Atlantic Hockey Playoffs started on Friday March 4 at 7:05 p.m. Within the first 57 seconds of the game junior defenseman Cade Townend received a five minute penalty for game misconduct for checking from behind. The Lakers were able to kill the penalty and only allowed the Crusaders to have one shot on goal.

However, the Crusaders were first to score at the 14:24 mark. During the second period neither team scored. Going into the third period, Holy Cross had more shots and a goal. However, during the third period Sophomore Carson Briere scored Mercyhurt’s first goal of the night at the 3:45 mark while on a power play. This goal would mark the 28th power play goal of the season. This was Briere’s 12th goal of the season and first playoff goal for the Lakers.

Neither team could figure out a way to score for the rest of the game, which meant the game was ending in a tie with a score of 1-1. The players got a quick break in the locker room before heading back onto the ice for overtime. In overtime, senior Geoff Kitt passed the puck to freshman Garrett Dahm who shot the puck and scored which was deflected off the stick of Junior Paul Maust. Dahm’s goal won the first playoff game for the Lakers.

The second Atlantic Hockey Playoff game was on Saturday March 5 at 7:05 p.m. In the first period of the game, neither team got the puck in the net. Sophomore goaltender Kyle McClellan made 14 saves. The second period was more eventful with the Lakers scoring the first goal of the night.

The first half of the period consisted of back and forth playing until the 16:21 mark. Briere got his 13th goal of the season after getting the puck past Crusaders goaltender Erik Gordon. This goal allowed the score to be 1-0 with the Lakers in the lead, however Holy Cross was leading in shots on goal.

The Lakers started strong in the third period after scoring a goal at the 2:38 mark. Maust had a break-a-way and got the puck past Gordon resulting in a 2-0 lead for the Lakers. This goal marked Maust’s fourth of the season, and was assisted by Kitt. At the 5:41 mark of the third period, Holy Cross scored their first goal of the night making the score 2-1 in favor of Mercyhurst. After the Crusader’s goal, McClellan made 12 saves which prevented the Crusaders from scoring anymore goals.

The final score of the game was 2-1. The Laker’s back to back win allowed them to sweep the first play-off series. This was the Lakers first playoff sweep since 2018 against Sacred Heart in the second round of the playoffs, which moved the Lakers to the semi-finals.

The Lakers moved onto the Atlantic Hockey Association Quarterfinals where they faced Canis-us College. The first game was on Friday March 11 at 7:05 p.m. and the second game was played on Saturday March 12 at 8:05 p.m. Both games were played in Buffalo, New York.