Bulldogs clinch sixth consecutive MCHA title

Shackell solid in relief with 29 saves
Shackell solid in relief with 29 saves

ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College men's hockey team claimed a sixth-consecutive Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association title by rallying to tie visiting Lake Forest College (9-9-2, 6-8-1 MCHA), 3-3, in overtime Sunday afternoon at the Arrington Ice Arena in a game billed to promote breast cancer awareness.

The NCAA-ranked No.7 Bulldogs (17-1-3, 13-0-3 MCHA) extended the current longest NCAA Division III unbeaten streak to 11 games and remained undefeated in MCHA play.

"We needed a tie to get it done," said head coach Ron Fogarty.

"We were resilient enough to get the tie and it's the sixth straight (MCHA title) win for us and that's what we want- to win a championship here. We put ourselves in position throughout the season to win it at home and we accomplished that today."

In all, 63 penalty minutes were called throughout the 65-minute contest.

Adrian was never allowed to get their game going after receiving 46 penalty minutes.

The Bulldogs played from behind the entire game and tied it the third time six minutes into the third period.

Chris Leone tied the game at 3 on a snap shot from inside the blueline that deflected into the Foresters net off the left post. Josh Cousineau found Leone from down low and earned an assist on the play.

The unsung hero of the game was goaltender Scott Shackell, who relieved starter James Hamby at the start of the second period trailing 2-1. Shackell made 29 saves and only allowed one power-play goal.

Lake Forest went up 1-0 early, but the Bulldogs would tie the game on the power play when Shaquille Merasty would take a pretty feed from Lukas Ciotti from behind the net and burry his 18th goal of the season from the goal crease.

Merasty leads all rookie scorers in Division III hockey and is the MCHA's leading point and goal scorer.

Adrian's power play is ranked No.1 in the nation at 32.4 percent (35-for-108). Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they would only get two chances on the afternoon to execute it.

The Bulldogs tied the game again at 2 when Kyle Gallinger's shot from the left side seemed to have eyes and gave Adrian some life just over three minutes into the middle frame.

Adrian had its best chance at its first lead when Duston Hebebrand rang one off the post about nine minutes into the second.

Lake Forest took a 3-2 lead on the power play. Although it would be officially scored as a 5-on-4 man-advantage goal, the play developed while the Bulldogs were two-men down and the goal was scored just as one of the penalties expired.

Lake Forest outshot Adrian, 45-31. The Foresters were 1-for-12 on the power play, while Adrian finished 1-for-2.

The Bulldogs hit the road next weekend with a pair of conference games against Concordia next Friday and Saturday.

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