Dec. 13, 2008

 

ourtesy of St. Lawrence

Dec. 13: The St. Lawrence University women’s hockey team withstood another barrage of shots from No. 8 Mercyhurst on Saturday, as the Lakers finished with a 43-11 advantage in shots on goal.  However, it was a pair of power play goals including a 5-on-3 tally that would lead Mercyhurst to the weekend sweep with a 2-1 victory against the Saints in Erie, PA.


Mercyhurst picked up their ninth consecutive win, improving to 12-4-0 on the year while St. Lawrence was swept by the Lakers for the first time in University history, falling to 11-4-3 on the season.


The Lakers built a solid 16-2 advantage in shots on goal in the opening period, as they consistently peppered

St. Lawrence junior goalie Brittony Chartier throughout the frame.  Mercyhurst junior Meghan Agosta, who picked up two goals and an assist in Friday night’s 5-2 victory, scored the lone goal of the period on the power play at 12:56, with an assist going to Ashley Cockell.


The Saints, who had hoped to build on a solid third period in Friday night’s game, faced a critical 5-on-3 penalty kill in the second period when junior Courtney Sawchuk was called for hooking at the same time that the visitors were whistled for too many players on the ice.  Though the Lakers had a full two-minute 5-on-3 try, it took only 16 seconds to take a 2-0 lead when Agosta picked up her second of the game at 12th of the season at 7:30 of the second period.  Hayley McMeekin and Valerie Chouinard were credited with helpers on the goal.


Despite being outshot 15-6 in the period, St. Lawrence would cut their deficit in half at 15:24 when senior assistant captain Carson Duggan scored her 14th goal of the season.  Duggan solved Mercyhurst netminder Hillary Pattenden to get St. Lawrence on the board at 2-1 when she completed a tic-tac-toe play, with assists going to first-year students Vanessa Emond and Alley Bero.


Special teams would prove to be the key to victory on Saturday, as St. Lawrence was simply unable to capitalize on any of their power play tries throughout the game.  The visitors finished 0-for-7 with the extra skater, while Mercyhurst was 2-for-9.  The Lakers, who were able to kill of three penalties in the final period, continued to use their dynamic offensive prowess and speed to keep the Saints away from Pattenden, outshooting St. Lawrence 12-3 in the final 20 minutes to hang for the 2-1 victory.


Pattenden finished with 11 saves for Mercyhurst to pick up the victory, while Chartier kept her team in the game behind her second consecutive 41-save effort.


“Obviously we would’ve liked to have come down here and played better than we did, but Mercyhurst is a talented team and was extremely well-prepared for these games,” said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells.  “(Meghan) Agosta showed why she is highly-regarded as one of the best players in the world this weekend, but we’ll need to re-group and come back ready to play hard in 2009.”


The Mercyhurst series completes the opening half of the 2008-09 season for St. Lawrence, who will not be in action again until January 9 and 10 when they welcome nationally-ranked Boston College to Appleton Arena for a pair of games.  Following the last non-conference series of the season against the Eagles, the Saints will turn their attention back to ECAC Hockey, where they currently are tied atop of the conference standings.

 

AGOSTA LEADS MERCYHURST PAST NO. 4 SAINTS IN NON-CONFERENCE SHOWDOWN

Dec. 12:  In a highly anticipated battle between two nationally-ranked foes, the hosting Lakers of No. 8 Mercyhurst College used a 46-24 advantage in shots on goal to knock off No. 4 St. Lawrence University on Friday night in Erie, PA.  Junior goaltender Brittony Chartier made a season-high 41 saves including 17 in the second period, but Mercyhurst’s Meghan Agosta led the home team to their eighth straight victory.


St. Lawrence drops to 11-3-3 (6-1-1) on the season, while Mercyhurst improves to 11-4-0 (4-0-0).


“I thought Mercyhurst was able to keep us on our heels throughout the majority of the game with their speed,” said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells.  “Brittony (Chartier) turned in a great performance and we obviously had our chances on the power play, but in the end, they took it to us.”


The Lakers took a 1-0 lead only 3:27 into the game when Kelley Steadman beat Chartier, with assists going to Vicki Bendus and Bailey Bram.  Despite outshooting the Saints by a wide 15-6 margin after 20 minutes, though, that would be the only score in the period for the home team.


Agosta, who is an annual favorite to win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award which recognizes the nation’s top women’s hockey player, showed her talents midway through the second period by tallying consecutive special teams goals only 45 seconds apart.  She made it 2-0 at the 11:00 minute mark with a power play goal from Valerie Chouinar and Jesse Scanzano, then picked up a short-handed tally from Jess Jones at 11:45 for a 3-0 cushion.


Junior defenseman Courtney Sawchuk would get one back for the Saints at 13:06, when she scored her second goal of the season on Mercyhurst goalie Hillary Pattenden.  Seniors Marianna Locke and Lisa Batchelor assisted on the goal, which made it 3-1 after two periods of hockey.


In a game that was riddled with 18 minor penalties, the third period proved to be a physical battle with very little scoring until the later stages.  Trailing by two, Coach Wells opted to pull Chartier with nearly four minutes remaining in the contest to give St. Lawrence a 6-on-4 power play opportunity.  The decision backfired, though, when Hayley McMeekin scored an empty-net goal at 16:52 for a 4-1 Mercyhurst lead.


After Bendus while whistled for a body checking penalty at 17:32, Wells again pulled Chartier, this time for a

6-on-3 power play try.  St. Lawrence was able to convert on the chance, as senior Alison Domenico scored the extra-attacker goal at 18:25 with another assist going to Locke.


Despite picking up the late goal, the Saints needed two more to even the game, and kept their goalie on the bench for the extra skater.  Scanzano would end the drama at 19:02 with another empty-net score from Agosta and Bendus to cap the game’s scoring at 5-2.


“I was out-coached tonight,” remarked Coach Wells, “but we were able to find some success later in the game that we'll try and carry over to tomorrow.”


Mercyhurst finished with an 18-shot advantage against the Saints, who finished 1-of-11 on the power play while the Lakers closed at 1-of-6.  Chartier’s 41 saves were not enough to earn her a victory, as she fell to

11-3-3 on the year while Pattenden’s 22 stops moved her record to an impressive 10-1-0.


St. Lawrence will look to earn a weekend split tomorrow, Saturday, December 13 when they complete the two-game series at Mercyhurst.  The game, which is the last for both teams in 2008, is set to begin at 2:00pm.