Big second period leads Mercyhurst to sweep of Air Force

Posted at 10:48 PM, Jan 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-10 00:48:39-05

ERIE, PA — Mercyhurst scored three goals in the second period for a 6-3 victory over Air Force in an Atlantic Hockey game Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Mercyhurst Ice Center in Erie, Pa.

Air Force (0-8-1, 0-8-1 AHA) opened the scoring just 94 seconds into the game as freshman Will Gavin scored with a wrister from the slot on the rush. Luke Robinson poked a puck free in the neutral zone and Blake Bride set up Gavin at the blue line. Mercyhurst (4-5-1, 3-2-1 AHA) answered after winning a faceoff in the offensive zone and Michael Bevilacqua tied the game at 6:55. The Falcons regained the lead on the power play. Gavin’s shot from the left point was tipped in by Shawn Knowlton with 10:10 left in the opening period. Willie Reim also assisted on the play. The Lakers again tied the game on the power play as Austin Heidemann put back a rebound at 14:31.

The Lakers erupted for three goals in a span of four minutes in the second period. Heidemann scored with a wrister from the left circle at 10:52. The Lakers then scored two power play goals as Jonathan Bendorf scored at 13:31 and Heidemann completed the hat trick at 14:52.

Mercyhurst took a 6-2 lead in the third period as Dante Spagnuolo scored on the rush at 8:15. Late in the period, Robinson drew a five-minute major on Heidemann and the Falcons capitalized. Knowlton netted his second of the game as he tipped in a shot by Reim with 3:02 remaining. Gavin also assisted on the play as he collected a career-best three point in the game.

“We are young and thin,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “We just need to stick together and keep improving. We are learning every night and striving to become the team that we want to be in February and March. Big series coming up for us this weekend as Army comes to town. Those games never disappoint and are always big for the seniors on both teams.”

The Falcons and Black Knights meet in a two-game league series, Jan. 15-16, at the Cadet Ice Arena.