Mercyhurst rallies to beat Syracuse, 5-4, in championship game

Syracuse jumped out a to a 2-0 lead over Mercyhurst in the Collegiate Hockey Association championship game, but was outscored 5-2 for the remainder of the game as the Orange lost their 14th straight to the Lakers.

The Syracuse women’s hockey team lost a heartbreaker Saturday to No. 4 Mercyhurst in the Collegiate Hockey Association championship game, 5-4.

The Orange started off strong as team captain Stefanie Marty scored a power play goal four minutes into the game. That was followed by another power play goal scored by Margot Scharfe. The Orange carried that two-goal lead into the second period, and that’s when the Lakers’ offense exploded.

Mercyhurst leading scorer and CHA Tournament Most Valuable Player, Meghan Agosta, scored an unassisted power play goal, followed by another goal assisted by Jess Jones and Jesse Scanzano, shifting the momentum away from the Orange. However, Syracuse regained the lead thanks to All-Tournament forward Isabel Menard’s power play goal.

“It was a great moment for us, and we were right back in there,” Menard said.

With 30 seconds remaining in the second period, Vicki Bendus scored a goal for the Lakers, tying the game at three goals each.

In the third period scored two quick goals to jump out to a 5-3 lead, but Julie Rising responded for the Orange by scoring a power play goal – their fourth of the game. That’s as close as the ‘Cuse would get though, as defenseman Ashley Cockell was sent to the penalty box for holding with 1:19 left in the game.

“I think it was kind of a stupid call,” Cockell said. “I don’t think the call with a minute and a half left was appropriate considering how it was. It wasn’t like I went off and killed somebody. I think it was questionable, I don’t think it was appropriate, but you can’t do too much about it, I guess.”

SU head coach Paul Flanagan also said it was a “garbage” call.

“I went up to the officials after the game, told them they did a good job, told them that I know it isn’t an easy game to call, but I told them that they didn’t need to call that,” Flanagan said. “They were just fighting for the puck.”

The Orange fell to 0-14 against the Lakers after losing the championship for a second straight year, but Menard and Flanagan said they’re going to be ready to win the championship next year.

“We need to keep our momentum and we need to remember today and get it next year,” Menard said. “Next year we’re going to be so hungry for it.”

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