April 16, 2013

Close Shave: Mercyhurst Survives Lake Erie Upset Bid

from press release

PAINESVILLE, Ohio - The #1 Mercyhurst men's lacrosse team won, 13-12, at Lake Erie College Tuesday night. Michael Grace made a pair of saves in the final seconds of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) contest to move the Lakers to 12-0 this season.

Zac Reid scored with 6:03 left to put Mercyhurst ahead, 13-10. The Storm scored with 4:56 remaining to cut the margin and then tied the match at the 1:07 mark on a Macgregor Johnston goal. James Chayka picked up the ground ball on the ensuing faceoff, allowing the Lakers to call timeout. Mercyhurst was able to run the clock down, but a turnover with 17 seconds to go gave LEC one final chance. The Storm called timeout after clearing the ball. After a wide shot, Reagan Harding shot with three seconds left. Grace made a stop, but the rebound went straight to Keegan Bal. Bal redirected the ball toward the net, but Grace dived and denied the shot, preserving another one-goal victory.

Ian Brooks scored with 13:11 to play in the first quarter, opening the scoring. LEC evened the score a few minutes later. Reid scored his first goal at the 7:37 mark. Bal answered with a goal, but Brian Scheetz assisted on a Brady Heseltine goal with 3:11 left in the frame. Bal closed the period with two more goals, giving the hosts a 4-3 edge.

Mitch McAvoy won the second-quarter faceoff and then found Ryan Sullivan. Sullivan passed to Scheetz, who scored 12 seconds into the period. Reid then found Trevor Vargo with 11:36 remaining, putting the Lakers back in the lead. LEC responded a few minutes later to tie the contest at five. With 4:43 left, Chayka scored. Bal came back with another goal 19 seconds later. Scheetz assisted on scores by Brandon Thomson and Brooks to end the half with Mercyhurst up, 8-6.

The third quarter was physical, with neither offense getting much traction. Lake Erie scored with 14:20 left and then the teams were shut out until late in the frame. Bal tied the game with 1:12 to play, but the Lakers answered. McAvoy won the faceoff and then assisted on a Scheetz goal seven seconds later.

Scheetz scored early in the fourth to give the visitors a 10-8 advantage. The Storm continued to battle, though, as Bal and Harding each scored to make it 10-all. Mercyhurst then scored three times in 1:35, seemingly giving the Lakers the necessary cushion to close out the win. Reid scored with 7:38 left. Chayka followed with 6:46 showing on the clock and then Reid capped the spurt 43 seconds after.

Scheetz finished with three goals and four assists. Reid had three goals and an assist. Brooks and Chayka each had two scores. Grace made nine saves in goal. McAvoy won 12-20 faceoffs. Bal totaled six goals to lead the Storm.

Mercyhurst improved to 12-0 overall and 6-0 in the ECAC. LEC is 8-3 overall and 4-2 in the conference. The Lakers play at Roberts Wesleyan on Tuesday, April 23. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m.

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