Dec. 5, 2010


Courtesy of Mercyhurst Athletics

ERIE, Pa. -
Junior Kelley Steadman scored two goals, and seniors Vicki Bendus, Meghan Agosta and Jesse Scanzano combined for 10 points, as the third-ranked Mercyhurst College women's hockey team defeated Niagara, 7-2, Saturday afternoon at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.

With the victory, the Lakers move to 12-2-0 overall, 5-0-0 in College Hockey America play, and extend their winning streak to five games. Niagara, meanwhile, falls to 3-12-3 on the season and 0-2-0 in the conference.

The Lakers used an all-around team-effort to down the Purple Eagles as six players scored goals and 10 players got on the stat sheet.

Steadman led all goal scorers and stretched her point steak to a career-long six games with two goals. Bendus, on the other hand, led all point-getters with four, netting a goal and three assists. Agosta and Scanzano both scored once and dished out two helpers apiece.

Freshman Christine Bestland recorded a goal and an assist, juniors Bailey Bram and Pamela Zgoda each helped out on two goals and senior Cassea Schols netted one of the Lakers' two power-play markers (2-for-7). Sophomore Samantha Watt and junior Meghan Corbett each picked up an assist.

Before the Lakers could complete their first two-game sweep of the Purple Eagles since the 2008-09 season, they had to overcome an early 1-0 deficit, as Niagara's Kayleigh Chippy gave the visitors a one-goal lead just 7:28 into the first period.

Steadman wiped out Chippy's goal and started a six-goal run with back-to-back tallies that spanned the first and second periods. After her second less than three minutes in to the middle stanza, Agosta struck with her team-leading 15th goal of the season and the team's first of three within a three-minute and 41-second span. Bendus followed suit at 15:36, while Schols gave the Lakers a 5-1 lead with two and a half minutes to play.

Scanzano and Bestland then closed out the game with goals sandwiched around a Niagara score at the 9:20 and 17:46 marks of the third.

Mercyhurst held Niagara in check with a 36-20 advantage in shots. Junior Hillary Pattenden recorded 17 saves in goal to earn her 11th win of the season and 64th career at Mercyhurst. She now has sole possession of second place for career wins at the college and needs only 11 more to break 2008 graduate Laura Hosier's record of 74, which ranks fifth all-time in NCAA Division I women's hockey history.

Senior Ashley Harper made her first collegiate appearance in the final minute of play and stopped one shot.

Mercyhurst closes out the 2010 portion of its schedule next weekend with a two-game series at St. Lawrence, beginning on Friday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.