Lundin and Lakers Keep Rolling; Advance to AH Semifinals with 4-1 Win
March 14, 2008
Rochester, N.Y. - For the third-straight postseason game, Mercyhurst junior goalie Matt Lundin held the opponent to just one goal and for the third-straight postseason game, the Laker men's hockey team earned a victory.
Friday night in Rochester, N.Y., at the Blue Cross Arena, the Lakers punched their ticket to the Atlantic Hockey Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2006 with a 4-1 victory over fourth-seed Sacred Heart. The Lakers will take on top-seeded Army Saturday afternoon at 4:05 p.m.
"We are excited to win a tough game," stated Laker head coach Rick Gotkin. "You have to tip your hat to Sacred Heart. That was a much closer game than the score would indicate."
"One game at a time," senior Ben Cottreau said. "No regrets is what we've been saying in the dressing room. We are just trying to play hard and leave it all on the ice."
Lundin stopped 38 shots including 18 in the third period giving him 107 saves on 110 shots in the 2008 AH Tournament.
"(Matt) is the center of our universe," stated Gotkin. "You don't get to play where we are unless you get great goaltending. We call it championship goaltending. He's been playing like that a lot lately."
His teammates, however, provided plenty of offensive support, totaling four goals and giving the Lakers a decided 10-3 scoring advantage in their three playoff games. The Lakers also improved to 9-0-1 on the season when scoring more than three goals.
Matt Pierce and the Lakers drew first blood 6:16 into the contest. After a Sacred Heart penalty put the Lakers on a power play, junior Brett Robinson won the ensuing faceoff and freshman Jeff Terminesi found Pierce, who beat Stefan Drew, giving his team a 1-0 lead and extending his streak of consecutive games with a point to nine. It was also his seventh goal in the last nine games.
Sacred Heart evened the scored three minutes later on a power play goal from Dave Jarman, and the Pioneers went on to out-shoot the Lakers 11-4 in the period. But Lundin stopped 10 of those shots to keep the score tied after one period.
Early in the second period, Lundin warded off several Pioneer shots, and 1:58 in, Cullen Eddy tallied his second goal of the season and the eventual game-winner after picking up a lose puck and scoring with a Pioneer defender on his hip.
Despite being out-shot 10-9, the Lakers controlled the second period. Drew and Sacred Heart managed to staved off several Laker rushes and a pair of power plays, but the Lakers had a couple of near misses. Nine minutes in, senior Kerry Bowman seemingly scored on a rebound, but just before his shot, the action was stopped by the official, as the puck was momentarily in the Drew's glove. Mercyhurst's second period domination was summed up in one shot off Eddy's stick with 51 seconds left. His breakaway shot tore the mask from Drew's head and nearly trickled into the net.
But nursing a 2-1 lead in the third, Lundin again shut the door on the Pioneers, making six saves in the first five minutes of the period. Cottreau added some insurance when he tacked on his team-leading 13th goal of the season on an assist from Matt Fennell. His goal came just one second after a Laker power play ended.
That goal pushed Cottreau past John Evangelista for sixth place among Mercyhurst's all-time leading scorers.
In addition to his 18 third-period saves, Lundin picked up an assist on the Lakers' fourth goal as Chris Risi out-raced a Pioneer as the puck drifted in the Sacred Heart zone. His shot over Drew's left shoulder capped the Lakers' scoring.
It was the Lakers' first win on neutral ice this season, as they improve to 1-2-1. Overall, the Lakers are 14-18-7. With the Lakers advancing to play Army in the semifinals, it sets up a match-up of the AH Player of the Year, Josh Kassel and the reigning AH Goaltender of the Week, Lundin.
While Army captured the AH regular season crown with a 17-8-1 conference mark, the Lakers were the only team in the league to earn a sweep of Army, which came by scores of 3-0 and 4-2 at the Mercyhurst Ice Center on Jan. 11-12.
The semifinal contest can be watched online via the B2 Networks.
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