"It wasn't our best night," said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. "We're looking forward to the playoffs though and hopefully we will be playing our best hockey."
Senior Cory Conacher scored the lone goal for the Griffs in the contest, his 22nd of the season. With his tally, Conacher matched the program's Division I record for goals in a single-season, tying the mark set by Chris Duggan during the 1998-99 campaign.
Both teams took advantage of an early power-play, scoring on their first extra-man attempt of the night. Jeff Terminesi fired a shot in 7:14 into the game and Conacher netted his record-tying goal just 87 seconds later. The senior ripped a shot past the Mercyhurst goaltender off a pass from senior Chris Forsman for his team-leading eighth power-play tally of the season. Senior Vincent Scarsella also recorded an assist on the score.
The Lakers then took control of the game with two goals in a 48-second span. The first score came on a breakaway when John Mousso scored after a blocked Canisius shot. The Lakers then took advantage of their second power-play opportunity of the night when Mike Gurtler tipped a shot in.
Mercyhurst stretched its lead to four with two goals early in the second frame. Scott Pitt scored from the slot just 27 seconds into the period and Daniel O'Donoghue stuffed a shot in at the 7:23 mark.
The five goals were more than enough for the Lakers, as they held the Griffs scoreless for the final 51:19 of the contest. Ryan Zapolski recorded 34 saves to earn the victory for Mercyhurst in goal.
The Lakers held a slight edge in shots on the night, 36-35. Mercyhurst also converted its only two power plays and killed 6-of-7 Canisius extra-man advantages in the game.
Canisius will meet local rival Niagara in a one-game playoff next Saturday. The Atlantic Hockey First Round matchup in Lewiston is set to begin at 7:05 p.m.
Game Notes: The loss ended the Griffs' five-game winning streak against the Lakers and the team's five-game winning streak at the Mercyhurst Ice Center ... Conacher, who already owns the program's single-season records in points (53) and assists (33) from his junior season, raised his school career records in points (141) and goals (61) ... Conacher has recorded a point on 11 of the team's last 17 goals, scoring a goal on eight of them.