ERIE, Pa.- The Sacred Heart University Men's Ice Hockey team continued its strong play as the Pioneers defeated Mercyhurst tonight by a final score of 3-1. SHU looks for the series sweep against the Lakers tomorrow afternoon with puck-drop set for 5:05 p.m.
- The Pioneers came out firing in the opening period as they rocketed off 13 shots on goal while Mercyhurst was held to just five.
- Mercyhurst went 0-2 on the power-play while SHU went 0-1 on the man advantage keeping the game scoreless heading into the second period.
- SHU won the faceoff battle in the first period as the Pioneers claimed 15 wins on the draw while Mercyhurst took 10.
- The pucks started to find the back of the net for SHU in the second period as the Pioneers cashed in a pair of goals in the period.
- The first came off the stick of junior Jordan Kaplan 5:33 into the period to credit his sixth goal on the year to give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead.
- Then in the final five minutes of the period, 15:32 into the second senior Mike Lee cashed in his third goal of the year off a pair of assists by fellow top line members senior Jason Cotton and junior Matt Tugnutt to put the Pioneers ahead 2-0 heading into the third period.
- Both sides were limited in shots on goal as SHU was only able to fire off eight while Mercyhurst tallied five.
- Mercyhurst scored early in the third period as just 1:34 into the third Joseph Maziarz slipped a power-play goal passed sophomore goalie Josh Benson to tighten the SHU lead to 2-1.
- But SHU answered back as six minutes later 7:57 into the period first-year Braeden Tuck would seal the game winner for the Pioneers with his third goal of the season as he broke away from the Laker defense as he received the puck from Matt Tugnutt to give the Pioneers a 3-1 lead and eventually the 3-1 victory.
- Sophomore goalie Josh Benson picked up his 13th win of the season as he notched 13 saves on 14 shots faced in the game.
- Senior Mike Lee, junior Jordan Kaplan and first-year Braeden Tuck each tallied a goal for the Pioneers in the victory.
- Junior Matt Tugnutt tallied two assists in the win which ups his total to nine on the season.
- SHU improves to 13-7-1 overall and 12-5-0 in Atlantic Hockey League play and picks up three more points to solidify its first-place ranking in the league.