No.7 Bulldogs sweep No. 15 Raiders with 4-3 win

Merasty nets three in sweep of Raiders
Merasty nets three in sweep of Raiders

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The men's hockey team (16-1-2, 12-0-2) took a 3-0 lead over rival Milwaukee School of Engineering (11-7-1, 8-5-1) and never looked back in sweeping the Raiders with a 4-3 win Saturday afternoon in Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association play at the Kern Center.

The nation's most prolific Division III rookie scorer, Shaquille Merasty scored three times-including the game winner-to keep the Bulldogs unbeaten in the MCHA and increase their current unbeaten streak to nine games.

The nine-game (7-0-2) streak is currently the longest in the nation amongst all Division III men's hockey teams. The team also has the top power play in the nation as well.

The Division III No.1 power play clicked three more times and ultimately decided the contest. For the year, the team has scored 32 power-play goals in 102 attempts and is operating at 31.4 percent.

Merasty got his first of the night on the power play late in the first period after the Raiders were flagged with a too many men penalty.

The Bulldogs went up 2-0 midway through the second period with another power-play goal. This time it was Josh Ranalli notching his 10th on the season from Zach Graham.

Having already scored with about two minutes left in the opening period, Merasty scored again, this time with under two minutes to go in the second period to stake the Bulldogs to a 3-0 lead.

After the Raiders made it interesting with a pair of goals within the first six minutes of the third period, Merasty would complete the hat trick with a power-play tally less than two minutes after the Raiders came within a goal. Lukas Ciotti and Justin Basso would pick up assists on Merasty's 16th of the season. The eventual game-winning goal would be Merasty's fourth game-winner this season.

Ciotti would end the night with a pair of helpers both compliments of Merasty.

Adrian outshot Milwaukee, 34-31.

Goaltender James Hamby improved his record to 10-0-1 with 28 saves. He is one of two undefeated Division III netminders and leads the nation in winning percentage with 95.5 percent.

Graham's assist on Ranalli's goal gave him 19 on the year and he became one of only four players nationally to average one or more assists per game.

Both the team's winning percentage and offense are ranked at No.2, with the former at 89.5 percent and the latter at five goals-per-game.

The team returns home for a pair of weekend conference games against Lake Forest. Having already clinched a playoff berth, it is possible for the Bulldogs to clinch a sixth-consecutive regular season MCHA title this weekend.

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