March 3, 2007

#2 Mercyhurst Wins College Hockey America Title 4-1 Over Wayne State

Story Courtesy of Mercyhurst Sports Information

Pittsburgh, Pa. - #2 Mercyhurst won its fifth straight College Hockey America crown Saturday with a 4-1 win over Wayne State. A partisan Mercyhurst crowd watched the Lakers from an early 1-0 deficit to claim the decision. The Lakers, unbeaten in their last 24 games (22-0-2), improved to 32-1-3 overall while Wayne State ended its season at 15-18-1.

Although Mercyhurst dominated the early going, Wayne State scored on its first attempt when sophomore forward Melissa Boal intercepted a clearing pass and fired a 40-foot slap shot passed Mercyhurst junior netminder Laura Hosier for a 1-0 Warrior advantage at 2:35. It was Boal's third goal of the playoffs. The Lakers tied the game seven minutes later when sophomore Melissa Dianoski, who broke a 14-game goal-scoring drought in yesterday's 5-2 semifinal win over Robert Morris, scored unassisted directly off a face-ff deep in the Wayne State zone. It was Dianoski's fourth of the season. Freshman sensation Meghan Agosta put Mercyhurst ahead when, with the Lakers down a skater, she took a feed from senior defender Jill Nugent at center ice and bear Wayne State junior goalie Valery Turcotte. It was Agosta's 37th goal of the season, third of the playoffs, and 6th shorthanded tally of the season. Mercyhurst outshot Wayne State 15-5 in the first twenty minutes. The Warriors had a two-skater advantage for 31 seconds with about five minutes left in the period, but failed to score and eventually allowed Agosta's shorthanded lamplighter. Wayne State suffered another blow when sophomore forward Sam Poyton was hurt with about five minutes left in the period after colliding with Mercyhurst senior defender Ashley Pendleton. She never returned.

The Warriors had an early two-skater 33-second advantage in the middle period, but again failed to capitalize. Later in the period, Boal took a minor penalty and, with just eight seconds left on the infraction, sophomore forward Valerie Chouinard cashed her 27th goal of the season, and second power play goal in as many games, to give Mercyhurst a 3-1 lead. Senior Julia Colizza and Agosta assisted. The helper moved Colizza into third-place all-time in scoring with 126 points. The Lakers enjoyed a 13-7 shot advantage in the middle frame.

The third period was scoreless until Chouinard collected her second of the game into an empty net at 19:54. Agosta and Dianoski assisted. The Lakers outshot Wayne State 15-5 in the third and 43-17 for the game.

The Lakers finished 1 of 5 with the skater advantage while the Warriors ended 0 for 7.

Mercyhurst won the CHA Tournament for the fifth straight season and improved to 31-0-2 lifetime against Wayne State.

Agosta picked up the tournament MVP award with three goals in the two games, including both tournament game-winners, and four assists. Chouinard (3 goals), Dianoski (2 goals, 1 assist), and defender Michelle Bonello made the All-Tournament team.

Junior goalie Laura Hosier won for the 27th time this season (27-1-2) and surpassed the prior one-season mark of 26 set by Desirae Clark in 2003-04.