Atlantic Hockey Tournament
Mercyhurst Silence Sacred Heart
Sacred Heart 1
Terminesi, B. Robinson
Grimson, B. Trapp
Medernach, M. Lundin
Matt Lundin (60:00, 38 svs, 1 GA)
Stefan Drew (60:00, 18 svs, 4 GA)
MCY 5/10; SH 6/12
Plays: MCY 1-5; SH 1-4
N.Y. – Mercyhurst can thank goalie Matt Lundin for
delivering the Lakers into the Atlantic Hockey semifinals,
but he passes the praise to his teammates.
fun being with these guys, winning and being in the playoffs,"
Lundin said following a 38-save effort which helped fifth-seeded
Mercyhurst topple No. 4 Sacred Heart, 4-1, in the Final
Five game played at Blue Cross Arena Friday.
team played well," Lundin said. “They blocked
a lot of shots. They were working hard in our [defensive]
zone. It didn’t seem as bad as it may have looked."
it looked like was a solid outing worthy of playoff hockey.
is the center of our universe," praised Mercyhurst
coach Rick Gotkin. “You don’t get to this point,
you don’t get a chance to play tomorrow, you don’t
have a chance to win championships unless you absolutely
get great goaltending. We call that championship goaltending,
and Matt Lundin has supplied that."
Heart beat him just once, and that was on the power play.
The Pioneers threw 11 shots at him in the first period,
10 in the second and 18 more in the third but Lundin blanked
them for the final 50-plus minutes.
have a hot goalie," said Sacred Heart sniper Alexandre
Parent. “He is a big guy [at 6-foot-1]. He comes out
really far out of his crease so there’s not much angles
to shoot at. We had a lot of shots right on him today."
started his college career at Maine but was caught in a
goalie logjam, first with All-American Jim Howard, then
with St. Louis Blues draft pick Ben Bishop. Lundin returned
to junior hockey, then transferred to Mercyhurst. His return
to the college ranks was short-lived, though, when he got
hurt in the season opener against Ohio State. He missed
more than a month of action before returning in mid-November.
has a 2.80 goals against, a .919 save percentage and a 12-11-5
record heading into Saturday's semifinal match against top-seeded
Army. Lundin says he wasn’t playing really well at
the close of the regular season, but he chalked up the playoffs
as an opportunity to start anew.
got a fresh start out there and was able to keep the spirits
up," he said. “When the team plays great in front
of you, you are able to bounce back pretty easily."
AND HEARD AT BLUE CROSS ARENA
play: Mercyhurst opened the scoring at 6:16 of
the first period on a power-play goal by Matt Pierce, his
13th of the season. Sacred Heart’s Bear Trapp was
whistled for a cross check of Nick Vandenbeld only eight
seconds earlier. Brett Robinson won the faceoff and got
the puck back to Jeff Terminesi on the right point. His
shot was tipped in front by Pierce and bounced through the
legs of Sacred Heart goalie Stefan Drew.
the sixth consecutive game that the Lakers have produced
a power play goal. Mercyhurst is converting at 16.3 percent
(36 for 221).
this time of the year, power play goals and special team
goals are key and win you games," said Mercyhurst’s
Ben Cottreau. “Whenever we can chip in with a big
power play goal, it’s a help."
to win a game: Mercyhurst sophomore defenseman
Cullen Eddy has seven goals in his college career, but just
one game-winner. That came on a second-period play in which
Eddy put in some extra effort to break a 1-1 deadlock.
he intercepted a clearing attempt by a Sacred Heart defenseman.
He went wide and squeezed through a check along the boards
to break in on Drew. Eddy knew he wanted to put the puck
on net, but he expected one of his forwards to put home
heard guys calling for the puck, going to the net,"
Eddy said. “I just threw it to the net. I think it
hit the goalie in the skates, and as he went down it went
into the back of the net.
was nice to see it."
isn’t exactly sure what happened. He started to cheat
toward the middle to cover the streaking players coming
at him. “I think it hit the inside of my right leg,"
and went in, he said.
we gave up the second goal, I think coming back was a punch,"
Hannah said. “Really getting back out there and after
them … we had done that at times this year but [not]
tonight. I really would have liked to see us come back.
We got smacked with a right hook; we should have come back
with a left."
Three Stars of the Night
Alexandre Parent, Sacred Heart
he didn’t score on his four shot attempts, but
Parent was busy in the final game of his heralded
career. Parent worked magic for four years and finishes
as the No. 6 point producer in MAAC/AHA history.
2. Cullen Eddy, Mercyhurst
The defenseman is not known as a scoring threat, but
he certainly knows what to do with the puck: Get the
biscuit to the basket. His extra effort produced a
turnover that led the first game-winner of his college
1. Matt Lundin, Mercyhurst
Lundin transferred to Mercyhurst just to have an opportunity
to lead his team into the playoffs. He’s delivered
with three post-season wins this month, the latest
a solid 38-save effort. Now he gets a chance to duel
Army’s top goalie, Josh Kassel.
apologies to Lynyrd Skynrd: Army goalie Josh Kassel
says he passes breaks in action by singing the lyrics of
whatever is playing over the public address system.
Mercyhurst's Matt Lundin tend goal at the start of the third
period Friday, you’d think he was performing a little
karaoke — “Won’t you give me three
minutes, gimme three minutes, mister, and you’ll never
see us no more."
by just one goal, Sacred Heart came out inspired and peppered
the Mercyhurst net. Lundin withstood the charge with five
saves — including some dazzlers — and his defense
blocked three more attempts all in the first 180 seconds.
were a little worried," Lundin admits. “We didn’t
want to give them a goal right away, and maybe we played
nervous. After those three minutes, our team relaxed and
went back to our normal playing. I think I can handle three
minutes as long as these guys play hard like they did the
rest of the game."
pretty much took the heart out of the Pioneers. It certainly
didn’t help when Ben Cottreau scored on a long point
shot just as a Mercyhurst power play was coming to a close.
warmup: A couple dozen home-standing fans of Rochester
Institute of Technology came out a day early for the Final
Five contest. Clad in RIT’s orange and white, the
fans cheered heartily from Section 109 and warmed up their
routines for Saturday’s semifinals.
Tiger fans counted down to the 10-minute mark of the second
period and called out their usual “Halftime!”
chant. They got an RIT chant going before the outset of
the third period. And they taunted every player who headed
to the penalty box, and abused each goalkeeper who played
in front of them.
one for the team:
Sacred Heart goalie Stefan Drew literally had his helmet
ripped off on a second-period slap shot by Cullen Eddy.
The high shot from the right wing slammed into Drew’s
cage and the helmet popped off and landed several feet away.
Officials whistled the play dead, and checked on Drew, who
miss the Whalers:
The Sacred Heart pep band was on hand. With no media time-outs,
the Pioneer pepsters played a whole bunch of abbreviated
tunes, often overlapping play when silence is golden, according
to NCAA rules. The best moment came late in the third period
when, down by two goals, the band whipped up “Brass
Bonanza,’’ which everyone knows was the music
played every time the old Hartford Whalers scored a goal
at the Civic Center.
Alex bids adieu: Sacred
Heart captain Alexandre Parent played his final collegiate
game, and choked up a bit when asked about it.
“I was just trying to tell the
guys that I enjoyed every day of my career, four years here,”
he said. “I told them to enjoy it too because it goes
by real fast. I mean, I can’t believe it’s over
Parent posted 141 points in school-record
144 career games. He's the no. 6 point producer in Metro
Atlantic Athletic Conference/Atlantic Hockey history and
no. 3 at Sacred Heart. His 54 goals ranks fifth at the school
and 11th in league history. His 87 assists are no. 2 at
school and sixth in league annals.
“How do you keep a guy like that off
of the ice?” said Sacred Heart coach Shaun Hannah.
“He is a tremendous hockey player. The contribution
that he made [include] the intangible things he brought
to our team like leadership and the commitment to doing
things the way you really need to do them. He’s been
everything that we needed him to be as a member of our hockey
team. We’re proud of what he’s accomplished
here and how he represents our hockey program and how he
will continue to represent our hockey program.”
Parent was glad he chose Sacred Heart.
“Sacred Heart was a perfect fit for
me,” he said. “I went there, got a lot of ice
time. They gave me an opportunity to play right away. I
just really enjoyed playing every day.
"Coming out of juniors, it was my dream
to play Division I hockey. I made it here, and I think I
made the most of it.”
Giving it their all: Mercyhurst
captain Ben Cottreau is thankful he and his teammates advanced
to see another day.
“It’s just one game at a time,”
he said. “Just no regrets. That’s what we’re
saying in the dressing room: No regrets and leave it all
only the one play-in game on the first day of the tournament,
and Rochester Institute of Technology wasn’t playing
in it, but there was still a decent crowd for the opener.
The league announced 1,430 — thanks to a pre-sell
of about 1,000 tickets — but there was only a couple
hundred in attendance.
least the weather cooperated; last year, a blizzard ruined
the Saturday semifinals.
would think Rochester would have learned its lesson from
last year’s poorly promoted tournament. On the morning
of the quarterfinal matchup, however, a scan of the Blue
Cross Arena website had no mention of the tournament being
played. There was a huge announcement of Bruce Springsteen’s
sold-out concert from eight days earlier, and a notice for
the New York state high school wrestling tournament held
I’m a stickler, but you don’t line up the teams
on the blue lines and leave them waiting for the American
and Canadian national anthems while the public address announcer
reads several promos.
The Mercyhurst victory sets up a juicy goaltending
matchup between Matt Lundin and Army’s Josh Kassel,
Atlantic Hockey's most valuable player.
“It’s definitely a lot of fun,”
Lundin said of the showdown. “Every goalie in this
league is very competitive with each other.”
Army is 13-1-1 in its last 15 games, but that
took place after Mercyhurst swept the Black Knights, 3-0
and 4-2, on Jan. 11-12 in Erie, Pa. The Lakers are the only
Atlantic Hockey team to sweep Army.
“I kind of forgot that we swept them
and I am sure they forgot that we swept them as well,”
Lundin said. “It’s a new season. “We’re
taking the [playoff wins] and our momentum with us into
[the] Army [game]."
Mercyhurst coach Rick Gotkin was careful not
to step on any land mines in his assessment of Army.
“We have a great deal of respect for
Army’s program,” Gotkin said. “What they
did this year was clearly no accident. The have been good
for a couple of years. They are very deserving of the regular-season
“We know we have a daunting task ahead
of us…. We have to bounce back, find a way to get
good energy and play our game.”
McMillan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.