STORRS, Conn. (January 13, 2006) A penalty shot by Ryan Toomey in the second period proved to be the game-winner for Mercyhurst as the Huskies fell 6-3 on Friday night. Connecticut out-shot Mercyhurst 43-33, but was unable to convert on four power play opportunities. The Lakers currently top the Atlantic Hockey league with a 12-8-0 overall and 11-4-0 AHA record after tonights win, while Connecticut drops to 7-12-1 overall and 6-9-0 in the AHA.
The Huskies jumped out to an early lead in the first stanza with two goals. Junior co-captain Matt Scherer (Seattle, Wash.) netted Connecticuts first goal at the 14:34 mark from the top of the crease. He was assisted on the play by senior co-captain Chris Uber (Ithaca, N.Y.) and junior Scott McDougall (Mansfield, Mass.).
Just under a minute later, freshman forward Ryan Hawkins (Eden Prairie, Minn.) scored the first goal of his collegiate career on a pass from fellow classmate B.J. Bayers (St. Louis Park, Minn.) and sophomore John Stockler (Princeton, Minn.). Hawkins found the back of the net off his own rebound shot. His initial shot bounced off the pads of Laker goalie Tyler Small, landing within inches of Hawkins stick. The rookie scooped up the loose puck and shot it past Small for the Huskies second tally of the evening.
Mercyhurst retaliated in the second period with three goals to take the lead. Conrad Martin scored first for the Lakers at the 1:53 mark of the stanza. He was assisted on the play by Brett Robinson and Matt Warren. A little over six minutes later, Mercyhurst lit the lamp again with a goal by Jamie Hunt to tie the game. They took the lead on a goal by Brian Briggs, but held it for just a few minutes before Connecticut tied it at three all with a goal by junior Trevor Stewart (Elk River, Minn.).
At the 15:59 mark, the Huskies lost the lead and the game on a penalty shot by Toomey. Toomey was tripped on a breakaway by junior B.J. Crum (Hampden, Mass.) and was awarded the free shot. He sailed the puck over junior goaltender, Scott Tomes (Windham, N.H.) left shoulder to take the lead and the game. The Lakers went on to score two more goals, one of which was an open-netter, before the final buzzer.
These two teams will face off again on Saturday night at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. The conference game is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start.