(Canton, N.Y.)- The SUNY Canton men’s ice hockey team dropped a 3-1 decision to Mercyhurst College Friday on Senior Night at Roos House.
Prior to the start of the third period, seniors Chris Giczewski (Fountain Valley, Calif.), Brad Wilson (Orleans, Ontario) and John Payne (Port Moody, B.C.), who could not attend the game because he is doing an internship with the Manchester Monarchs, were honored and recognized along with their parents. The three have combined for 82 wins, 95, goals, 155 assists, and 250 total points in their careers.
Both teams skated to even 0-0 tie after one period as the Roos held a 7-6 advantage in shots in a fast moving first 20 minutes.
The Lakers went ahead 1-0 just over eight minutes into the second period on a strange goal. The Roos were doing a good job keeping the puck down low in the offensive zone, and after a shot from the left point was blocked, the Lakers Pat Dolan skated the puck up the left wing and from just outside the blue line flipped a shot on goal that deflected off SUNY Canton goalie Luis Puig (Chicago, Ill.) into the net.
SUNY Canton, who outshot the Lakers 14-6 in the second period, eventually tied the game with 3:04 on the clock. Sophomore Austin Root (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) won an in-zone faceoff and after a shot from up high was blocked, the Roos circled the puck back around to sophomore J.R. Lafferty (Williamstown, N.J.) who unleashed a rocket from the top of the left circle that was blocked by Mercyhurst goalie Bryan Danczak. The rebound popped out to Root whose follow shot was blocked by a diving Danczak. But he gave up another rebound and freshman George Curry (Shaumburg, Ill.) was right there to bury the puck into the open net for his fourth goal of the year.
Mercyhurst went back ahead by a goal just 49 seconds into the third period when Kevin Valasek scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal after a wild scrum in front of the Roos net.
Both teams had excellent two-on-one breaks a minute apart with less than six minutes remaining in the final stanza. The Roos had the first shot but their breakaway attempt was stopped by a sliding Danczak. The Lakers came right back with 6:04 left on their own breakaway, but a shot headed for the low right corner was stopped on a terrific pad save from Puig.
The Roos pulled Puig with 1:15 left and got off two good shots but couldn’t come up with the equalizer, and Mercyhurst put the game away with an empty net score with 53 seconds left.
Puig finished with 20 saves, and Danczak had 35 for the Lakers.
The two teams square off again on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Roos House in the SUNY Canton’s final game of the season.