March 23, 2003
MAAC Championship

Mercyhurst claims MAAC title, NCAA bid

Other Tournament Coverage

Last year Mercyhurst enjoyed a fabulous regular season, only to see the year end in disappointment when Quinnipiac upset the Lakers in the MAAC Tournament title game.

Things might not have been as easy for head coach Rick Gotkin's club during this season – they trailed in the MAAC standings by as many as 12 points before making a late surge to the title – but thanks to Sunday's 4-3 win over Quinnipiac in the MAAC championship game, the end result was all the more more satisfying.

The Lakers earn the MAAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they will make their second appearance in three seasons. They are the first MAAC team in the five-year history of the conference to win the tournament title twice.

Mercyhurst 4,
Quinnipiac 3
Team Goal Str
Time Assists

First Period

1-Q John Kelly (6) EV
6:18 D. Ennis, D. Rossi
1-M Rich Hansen (15) EV
8:19 M. Chambers
2-Q Chris White (10) EV
13:26 T. Morrison, A. Ludwig
Second Period
2-M David Wrigley (16) EV
1:11 M. Muldoon
3-M Mike Carter (10) EV
13:56 S. Reynolds, J. King
Third Period
3-Q Tim Morrison (3) EV
4:10 A. Ludwig, C. White
4-M T.J. Kemp (11) PP
8:45 D. Wrigley, A. Tackaberry
Q: Jamie Holden, 59:04, 30 saves, 4 GA
M: Andy Franck, 60:00, 27 saves, 3 GA
Penalties: Q 5/10; M 6/12
Power Plays: Q 0-5; M 1-4
Attendance: 1,445
All-Tournament Team

G: Andy Franck, Mercyhurst
D: T.J. Kemp, Mercyhurst
D: Mike Muldoon, Mercyhurst
F: Dave Borrelli, Mercyhurst
F: David Wrigley, Mercyhurst (MVP)
F: Matt Craig, Quinnipiac

As they have all year, Mercyhurst employed a balanced attack in the title game. Four players accounted for the Lakers' four goals, with sophomore defenseman T.J. Kemp netting the game-winner with 11:15 remaining in the third period.

Forwards from three different lines scored the other three Laker goals. Mercyhurst scored 14 goals in the semifinals and championship, but no individual had more than two goals. David Wrigley earned tournament MVP honors after posting one goal and one assist in the title game (two goals, three assists on the weekend).

Quinnipiac held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the first period, as the Bobcats tested freshman Laker goaltender Andy Franck early with 12 shots in the period. John Kelly and Chris White scored for the Bobcats, sandwiched around a Rich Hansen tally for Mercyhurst.

The Lakers roared back in the second , scoring twice to take a 3-2 lead into the third period.

But freshman Tim Morrison answered for Quinnipiac, and Mercyhurst's 14-0-0 record when leading after two periods appeared to be in jeopardy. The Lakers righted the ship, however, and Kemp scored on a power play. Franck and his teammates held on to the lead.

Franck finished with 27 saves while his counterpart, Jamie Holden, made 30 for Quinnipiac. Mercyhurst killed off all five of Quinnipiac's power-play opportunities.


As the final game before the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, Mercyhurst rounds out the field. The Lakers – who gave Michigan a scare two years ago before losing, 4-3 – will be a fourth seed, likely facing Cornell or Colorado College in Worcester or Ann Arbor, respectively. They could also meet Minnesota, if the tournament's fourth seeds be the Lakers, Wayne State and two WCHA clubs. Selections are announced Sunday night at 6 p.m. on ESPN (or ESPNews if ESPN is covering college basketball).

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