By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posted: March 2nd, 2012
LAKERS UPDATE: Mercyhurst women hold off Syracuse, reach CHA title game

PITTSBURGH – The Mercyhurst women’s hockey team will play for the College Hockey America title.

Yet before earning an opportunity to win a 10th straight conference tournament championship, the sixth-ranked Lakers had to survive a stern test from surprising Syracuse in the CHA Tournament semifinals Friday afternoon.

The top-seeded Lakers held off Syracuse 4-3 in front of 267 fans at Island Sports Center to secure a matchup in Saturday’s 3 p.m. title game against second-seeded Robert Morris. The Colonials (18-9-4) beat third-seeded Niagara 3-2 in the second semifinal.

Fourth-seeded Syracuse (10-22-3) took an early 1-0 lead 6 minutes, 50 seconds into the game on the first of Shiann Darkangelo’s three goals. She nearly matched her four-goal total in 34 regular-season games.

Mercyhurst (23-6-3) tied the score at 1 on Kristine Grenier’s goal at the 10:01 mark of the first period, and then took a 2-1 lead on Christine Bestland’s power-play goal with 1:14 left in the period.

Bestland’s second power-play goal of the game, her 24th goal of the season, handed the Lakers a 3-1 lead 8:37 into the second. But Darkangelo pulled the Orange within a goal on the power play 4:06 later.

Grenier scored again 3:36 into the third to record her first career two-goal game and regain the Lakers’ two-goal advantage at 4-2, only to have Darkangelo score again on the power play with 5:19 left in the game. Grenier had three goals in 31 regular-season games.

But Mercyhurst held off  the Orange down the stretch to seal the hard-fought win.

Hillary Pattenden made 32 saves for the Lakers to become the first goaltender in NCAA history with 100 wins. She outdueled Syracuse’s Jenesica Drinkwater, who had 38 saves. Mercyhurst senior forward Bailey Bram had an assist to become the fourth player in Lakers’ history to reach 200 career points. She joins Meghan Agosta (NCAA-record 303 points), Jesse Scanzano (225) and Valerie Chouinard (200).


College Hockey America tournament schedule

at Island Sports Center, Pittsburgh

Semifinals – Friday

No. 1 Mercyhurst 4, No. 4 Syracuse 3

No. 2 Robert Morris (17-9-4) vs. No. 3 Niagara (10-15-8), 3:45 p.m.

Championship game – Today

Mercyhurst (23-6-3) vs. Robert Morris/Niagara, 3 p.m.

On the air: (live stream), (live statistics)




Mercyhurst 4, Syracuse 3

Syracuse  1  1  1  —  3

Mercyhurst  2  1  1  —  4

1st Period — 1. Syracuse, Shiann Darkangelo 5 (Mullan, Greco), 6:50 (pp). 2. Mercyhurst, Kristine Grenier 4 (B. Bram, S. Bram), 10:01. 3. Mercyhurst, Christine Bestland 23 (Byrne, J. Jones), 18:46 (pp). Penalties — DeSutter (M) high sticking, 3:53; B. Bram (M) cross checking, 5:15; Roach (S) hooking, 10:01; Grenier (M) tripping, 15:30; Darkangelo (S) hooking, 16:31; Skelly (S) roughing, 18:17.

2nd Period — 4. Mercyhurst, Bestland 24 (unassisted), 8:37 (pp). 5. Syracuse, Darkangelo 6 (Greco, Mullan), 12:43 (pp). Penalties — Higson (M) hooking, 6:33; Ferrara (S) hooking, 7:38; S. Bram (M) body checking, 10:40; Byrne (M) boarding, 11:22; B. Bram (M) slashing, 13:24; Drinkwater (S) tripping (served by Ferrara), 15:56.

3rd Period — 6. Mercyhurst, Grenier 5 (Zgoda), 3:36. 7. Syracuse, Darkangelo 7 (Sorensen, Greco), 14:41 (pp). Penalties — Steadman (M) interference, 13:18; Ferrara (S) hooking, 15:26.

Shots on goal — Syracuse, 12-15-8—35; Mercyhurst, 20-11-11—42.

Goaltenders — Syracuse, Jenesica Drinkwater 4-9-1 (42 shots, 38 saves); Mercyhurst, Hillary Pattenden 20-6-3 (35 shots, 32 saves).

Power plays — Syracuse (3-8), Mercyhurst (2-6).

Referees — Scott Bell, Jason Brown. Linesmen — Justin Loomis, Erik Geller.

Attendance — 267.

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