What: Mercyhurst College (13-15-4, 11-12-2 AHA) vs. Canisius (10-16-6, 9-11-5)
When: Friday and Saturday, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Friday at Buffalo State Sports Arena; Saturday at Mercyhurst Ice Center
On the air: www.americaone.com (Internet video), WMCE (radio)*
Players to watch
Mercyhurst – Sr. G Ryan Zapolski (11-12-3 record, 2.88 goals-against average, .919 save percentage, 2 shutouts), Sr. F Scott Pitt (15-18-33), So. F Paul Chiasson (16-14-31), Fr. F Taylor Holstrom (8-21-29), Sr. F Mike Gurtler (7-16-23)
Canisius – Sr. F Cory Conacher (19-13-32), Sr. F Vincent Scarsella (10-16-26), Fr. D Ben Danford (2-20-22), Sr. F Eric Rex (7-14-21), Jr. G Dan Morrison (7-13-4, 3.50, .903, 1 SO)
Mercyhurst – The Lakers, who are winless in their last four games (0-3-1), will clinch the fifth spot in the Atlantic Hockey Association’s West pod with a win in the regular season-ending series with the sixth-place Golden Griffins. … The Lakers will begin the playoffs on the road against the West pod’s third or fourth seed. … Redshirt sophomore F Phil Ginand (upper-body injury) is out for the season. … Senior F Steve Cameron (lower body) could miss the rest of the season. … Freshman F Nick Jones (upper body) will miss this weekend’s games. But coach Rick Gotkin hopes he will be cleared to play for the playoffs. … Junior D Patrick Goebel (upper body) rejoins the lineup after missing the past two weekends. …The school will honor seniors Cameron, Gurtler, Pitt, Zapolski, Jeff Terminesi, Ryan Raven and Jesse Echternach before Saturday’s game. … The Lakers lost 5-2 to Canisius in October, but they lead the all-time series 34-22-9. … Gurtler needs nine points to become the 15th player in the program’s NCAA Division I history to reach 100 career points and the third this season (Pitt and Cameron). Gurtler also needs two short-handed goals to equal the program’s Division I career record of 10 set by Louis Goulet (1998-2002), now an assistant coach with the women’s team. … Zapolski, an Erie native, has 46 career wins, four shy of being the Lakers’ first goaltender to reach 50 since Peter Aubry in 2002. … The Lakers are tied for ninth nationally in scoring offense (3.53 goals per game), one spot ahead of Air Force (3.56).
Canisius – The Golden Griffins snapped a three-game losing streak (all by shutout) with a 6-3 win at Niagara on Saturday. … They were shut out in three straight games for the first time in the program’s 31-year history. … Conacher is the Division I program’s all-time leading scorer (132 points). … Danford has set a new program record for points by a rookie defenseman. … Fairview native Rex’s 21 points are eight more than his first three seasons combined. … The Golden Griffins have won four straight against the Lakers and five in a row at MIC.
Up next: at Atlantic Hockey Association tournament – first round (TBA)
* Radio broadcast – home game only
– Victor Fernandes