Minnesota Duluth Nips Mercyhurst 3-2 in Overtime
March 9, 2007
Erie, Pa. - Another overtime in an NCAA quarterfinal game and another excruciating loss. #7 Minnesota Duluth rallied from a 2-0 second-period deficit to upend #2 Mercyhurst 3-2 Friday before a packed house at the Ice Center. The win propelled the Bulldogs, 23-10-4, into the Frozen Four next weekend at Lake Placid, N.Y. The Lakers, unbeaten in their last 24 games (22-0-2) and without a loss at home entering the contest (16-0-2), finished a remarkable year at 32-2-3.
Mercyhurst took a 1-0 lead late in the first when junior forward Stephanie Jones cashed the Lakers 60th power play goal of the campaign when she parked her 15th marker of the year at 18:32. Sophomore winger Melissa Dianoski and freshman Angelica Lorsell assisted. The Lakers outshot UMD 15-7 in the first twenty minutes.
Mercyhurst extended the lead to 2-0 when freshman Meghan Agosta tallied her club-record 38th goal of the season, an unassisted score at 2:21 of the second. The Lakers had several other excellent chances in the middle period to widen the gap but, perhaps as a prelude of things to come, Bulldogs' senior goalie Riitta Schaublin and her defense stiffened. Late in the period, sophomore forward Michaela Lanzl silenced a raucous crowd and got UMD some momentum when she notched her 12th of the year, beating junior Laura Hosier at 17:53. Mercyhurst owned a slight 12-9 advantage in shots in the second frame.
Mercyhurst maintained the advantage until late in the third when senior winger Jessica Koizumi scored from in close, her shot deflecting off a Mercyhurst player's stick and past Hosier.
Koizumi sent a partisan crowd home with her second of the game and 20th of the year at 11:16 of overtime. Mercyhurst was hit with a minor penalty midway thru the frame and 31 seconds later, the Simi Valley, Calif. native ended the affair.
The setback was the third overtime defeat in the quarterfinals in as many years for Mercyhurst. The Lakers bowed at Harvard 5-4 in triple overtime in 2005 and lost at eventual national champion Wisconsin 2-1 in two extra periods last season. In each instance, the Lakers never trailed until the final horn.
Mercyhurst outshot UMD 9-8 in the overtime and 46-32 overall. Each team converted once in four power play chances. The Lakers scored on their first attempt and the Bulldogs converted on their last to end the game. The contest marked the first time all season that Mercyhurs had lost both at home (16-1-2) and when leading after two periods (28-1-1).p> Mercyhurst ended the year with 32 wins, the most in program history. It enjoyed an 11-week reign at #1, from late November to mid-February. The team also said farewell to seven seniors, who compiled 109 wins, four College Hockey America titles and three NCAA trips during their stellar careers: defenders Michelle Bonello, Jill Nugent, and Ashley Pendleton along with forwards Stefanie Bourbeau, Julia Colizza, Sarah Kurth, and Lesley McArthur.
Agosta will make the trip to Lake Placid next week anyway. She's one of three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award, given annually to the best women's Division I hockey player. Colizza will travel to St. Louis in April for the Frozen Four Skills Challenge. Bourbeau finished her career with 130 points and remained tied for the all-time scoring lead with C.J. Ireland (1999-2003) after going scoreless in her last three games. Colizza ended her four years with 126 points, third all-time. Pendleton and Colizza set new marks for career games played with 147. Neither ever missed a contest.
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