March 20, 2009

 

Boston, Mass. – The Mercyhurst College women’s hockey team made program history Friday evening as the third-ranked Lakers fended off a late-rally by Minnesota to secure a 5-4 victory and a spot in the national championship game. The Lakers will make their first-ever title appearance when they face top-seed Wisconsin on Sunday, March 22, in a nationally-televised game on CBS College Sports at 12 p.m.

Trailing by four for a majority of the third period, the Gophers put a scare into the Lakers (31-5-0) with three straight scores in the final eight minutes and 47 seconds. Jen Schoullis, Gigi Marvin and Monique Lamoureux tallied markers to get the Gophers within one at 5-4. However, Mercyhurst would end the run in the final minute, forcing two shots wide before Lamoureux was called with the team's sixth penalty of the game. 

After falling behind 1-0 early in the first period, Mercyhurst bounced back with the next five scores. The Lakers pounced on goaltender Alyssa Grogan with three opening frame goals, forcing head coach Brad Frost to replace her with Jenny Lura during the first intermission.
Senior assistant captain Valerie Chouinard knotted the game at one when she took a pass from senior Hayley McMeekin at the top of the right circle and sent it in near post for a 5-on-3 power-play score at 8:38. Freshman Bailey Bram then picked off a pass in the Minnesota zone and beat Grogan for another extra-man tally at 15:47. Junior captain Meghan Agosta finished the period with a strike from the blueline at 18:46.
The Lakers finished their scoring with two goals in the second. Freshman Meghan Corbett made the score 4-1 when she tipped a shot from Chouinard past Lura at the 3:40 mark. Chouinard’s assist moved her career point to 200, making her just the second player in program history to accomplish the feat..
Agosta added the eventual game-winner with five seconds remaining. After having her initial shot ring off the post, Agosta found the puck in mid-air and knocked it over the shoulder of Lura for the scoreat 19:55.

Minnesota finished game with a 37-22 advantage in shots and a 3-for-8 mark on the power-play. Mercyhurst converted 2-for-6 with the extra-man. Freshman Hillary Pattenden stopped 33 shots to earn her 24th win of the season.