ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College men's hockey team (4-0, 4-0) remained unbeaten after rallying against the Milwaukee School of Engineering (3-3, 3-3) to win, 5-1, in Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association play Saturday afternoon at Arrington Ice Arena.
Adrian scored five unanswered goals in the second and third periods and looked solid in dismantling the team that denied them a fifth-consecutive Harris Cup last season.
Although the shots favored the Raiders, 34-31, Adrian dominated after the first period. Bulldog goaltender Scott Shackell was solid and only allowed one goal off a power-play rebound with just under two minutes left in the first frame. Shackwell's defense performed well, forcing most of the Raiders' shots from the perimeter, keeping the front of the net clear, and allowing him to see everything shot his way.
The No. 8 Bulldogs appeared well-balanced offensively as nine different players registered points in the win.
Leading the way for Adrian was freshman Shaquille Merasty with a three-point (2G-1A) performance; while Sam Nyberg, Josh Cousineau and Josh Ranalli all had multiple-point games with a pair of assists each.
The second period was big for Adrian, when they scored three times for a 3-1 second period lead.
With almost three minutes elapsed in the second, Nyberg's shot from the left point found its way to the net and Kevin Balas got his first goal of the season off a low shot from the rebound in tight quarters to tie the game at 1-1. Merasty and Nyberg were awarded assists on the play.
The Bulldogs then scored twice in a thirty-second span mid-way through the middle stanza to go up, 3-1.
First, while on a 4-on-3 power play, one of the Raider defenders broke his stick deep in the Raider zone, and while he had to travel to the far bench to retrieve another one, Adrian struck. Cousineau moved the puck from the left to the top of the circle to Nyberg. Facing only two Milwaukee defenders, Nyberg's shot got through and an unattended Graham was there to tuck in his fourth of the year off the rebound from the right side of the net for a 2-1 lead around the 12-minute mark.
Then, at 12:31, Justin Basso's second goal of the season made it 3-1, when he stuffed another rebound in. Cousineau's original shot was deflected by Ranalli as he was being checked to the ice causing a pileup of bodies in front of the Raider net.
After that, it was all Shaquille Merasty. The Raiders could not stop the Shaq attack. Merasty now leads the team in goals.
The Minnedosa, Manitoba-native scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season today after being named the MCHA Freshman of the Week, for a five-point performance against Northland last weekend.
"We recruited him to score goals," said Fogarty. "You give him a chance to shoot the puck and he's going to score more than not. He's a great offensive player and he's going to be a staple for that freshman class."
Early in the third period, he snapped a high shot into the right top corner after Ryan Lowe won a draw deep in the Raider zone for a 4-1 lead.
Merasty's prettiest goal of the afternoon came with just over three minutes left in the contest. He took a centering pass on the right side and juked both a defender and the goaltender before showing a soft pair of hands and roofing a backhander to seal the game at 5-1. Both Ranalli and Cousineau earned assists on the goal and both are tied for the team-lead in points with nine, while Cousineau leads the team in assists with eight.
Both teams were physical with each team receiving 11 penalties for 55 minutes total. The loss drops the No. 12 Raiders to 3-3 on the year.