Kyle Cook scored off a rebound with 9 minutes, 9 seconds left in the third period to help the Mercyhurst men’s hockey team salvage a 2-2 tie with Bentley tonight at Mercyhurst Ice Center in a battle between the Atlantic Hockey Association’s top two teams.
The first-place Lakers (14-10-5, 12-2-4) maintain a two-point lead over the runner-up Falcons (13-8-4, 11-3-4) heading into Saturday night’s 7:05 p.m. series finale at MIC. Zac Frischmon scored the Lakers’ other goal, while Jordan Tibbett made 32 saves in his best outing of the season in what was an entertaining game that even had a controversial no-goal in the Lakers’ favor.
The Falcons appeared to score a goal early in the third that would give them a 3-1 lead. The officials immediately waved it off and play continued. During the next stoppage in play, I was able to see a replay of the shot (thanks to colleague Matt Edwards from WJET-TV). From my vantage point, the puck appeared to cross the goal line at the right side of the net, curl around the white pad that rims the bottom of the net and then exit on the left side. Cook scored the tying goal a short time later.
“I couldn’t see it,” Lakers head coach Rick Gotkin said of the controversial no-goal. “Next year there’s going to be video replay (mandated throughout NCAA hockey), so we’ll probably take that stuff out of it. But the referees looked like they were absolutely sure. There wasn’t much discussion afterwards.”
But that didn’t overshadow the superb effort from Tibbett, who played very well in place of injured starter Jimmy Sarjeant (lower body).
- Victor Fernandes