ARLINGTON, Va. – The Mercyhurst women's hockey team scored five goals in a 5-2 win over fourth-ranked St. Lawrence in the first game of the "D1 in D.C." doubleheader on Saturday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. It was the team's first game since Dec. 11.
The game was the Lakers' seventh against a top-ten ranked opponent and their first away from Mercyhurst Ice Center. The game also marked the first official Division I women's hockey game played in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
The Lakers were the first on the board in the game and it took little time to make it happen. Just over two minutes into the period, Jillian Skinner received a pass at the blue line and ripped a slap shot past Saints' goalie Grace Harrison for the game's first goal. Assists were awarded to Taylor Accursi and Megan Whiddon.
Just about a minute later, the Lakers struck again to double their lead. Sam Isbell received a great feed from Rachael Smith on a two-on-one and buried the shot for her fourth goal of the season, giving the Lakers a 2-0 advantage with 16:55 on the clock in the opening period.
St. Lawrence got a goal back just 28 seconds later, marking the third goal scored in the first 3:33 of the game. Brooke Webster chipped in her 11th of the season to bring the Saints within one.
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After scoring quickly in the first period, the Lakers continued that trend in the second with a goal 1:11 in. Sarah Hine lifted a wrist shot over the glove of Harrison to put Mercyhurst ahead 3-1. Brooke Hartwick and Morgan Stacey set up the goal for Hine with assists.
The Saints once again responded with the next goal to cut the Laker lead back to one. Hannah Miller's tally at the 13:59 mark brought the score to 3-2 entering the second period.
At this point in the game, St. Lawrence had been outshooting Mercyhurst 25-12. Despite giving up two goals, Lakers' netminder Jessica Convery was sharp to this point and had made several key saves to maintain the Lakers' lead entering the third period.
Convery was busy early in the final period and stopped the initial flurry from St. Lawrence to begin the frame. The Lakers countered with a big insurance goal past the halfway point in the frame. Brooke Hartwick extended the Laker lead to two with assists from Samantha Fieseler and Paige Horton at the 10:19 mark.
St. Lawrence had a chance to pull back within a goal on a power play with 3:42 remaining. The Saints pulled Harrison to create a six-on-four, but Convery and the Lakers defense stymied the St. Lawrence power play and drew a boarding call with 1:19 to go on a power play of their own. On the advantage, Hartwick netted her second of the game for a team-high 11 season goals with 1:03 remaining to put the game to the eventual 5-2 final score.
"I was proud of our staff and players for how we prepared for this game and the pride and energy we were able to compete with," said head coach Michael Sisti. "It was a great way to start 2017."
Mercyhurst (7-13-1) is now 7-0 when scoring three or more goals this season. The Lakers did not allow a power play goal on six chances. Convery was named the game's first star with 32 saves on 34 shots. Hartwick's two-goal, one assist effort earned her second star. Webster earned third-star for St. Lawrence.
The Lakers and Saints face off again Sunday, Jan. 8, at 1:30 p.m. at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex.