The Mercyhurst University men’s hockey team beat Robert Morris University with a 5-2 victory on Saturday and tied 5-5 in overtime on Friday to close out the regular 2013-14 season.
The Lakers improved to 19-12-7 overall and finished with a 17-4-6 mark in the Atlantic Hockey Association standings.
Redshirt junior goaltender Jordan Tibbett had a career-high with 48 saves while senior Daniel O’Donoghue scored a pair of goals Sunday to boost the Lakers score on Saturday.
“This weekend against Robert Morris had a real playoff atmosphere to it. We were absolutely terrible on Friday, but luckily they did not have a strong game either, so we were able to sneak out a tie. Saturday was a much better effort top to bottom. It was good to finish the regular season on a high note,” said senior Nick Jones.
Robert Morris out shot Mercyhurst. They beat out the Lakers 50 to 27. The Lakers also went 2-for-5 on the power play and finished the weekend series going 5-for-10 with the man advantage.
“The biggest challenge will be consistency. When we get into trouble it is usually because we are straying from our game plan. Everyone is fighting for their life in the playoffs, you take one night off and your season will be over before you know it,” Jones said.
With redshirt junior goaltender Jordan Tibbett tying a career-high 48 saves, he was able to stand strong for the Lakers defense that evening, improving his overall record 3-8-1 for the season and 3-4-1 in conference play with the victory.
Another stand-out player throughout the series was junior forward Nardo Nagtzaam. Nagtzaam was named the Atlantic Hockey Association’s (AHA) Travel Team USA Co-Offensive Player of the Week, as announced on Tuesday.
The Lakers will host a best-of-three quarterfinal series against an opponent to be determined on March 14, March 15, and, if necessary, March 16. All games are scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
“The team has done a great job this season bringing everything they have to the rink day in and day out and we were rewarded with a regular season championship. The championship is a source of pride for us but we know it’s just one small step towards our ultimate goal, which is to win the league playoffs and make it to the NCAA tournament,” Jones said.
“In the AHA tournament I am looking forward to erasing the memory of the championship game last year against Canisius. To be that close to a league title and have it all come crashing down was devastating. Hopefully, we can forge a better memory this year with a championship,” Jones said.