ERIE, Pa. — The top-seeded Mercyhurst Lakers returned from a first-round bye week to beat the No. 11 Sacred Heart Pioneers, 4-2 in Game 1 of the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals on Friday.
It was a back-and-forth affair, with the Lakers taking an early lead, but needing a strong finish and a hat trick from Jonathan Charbonneau to put away the Pioneers. Mercyhurst lit the board first with a first-period goal by Charbonneau from Tyler Enns and Joey Duszak.
Sacred Heart freshman Marc Johnstone tied up the game with a goal for Sacred Heart. However, before the end of the period, Charbonneau scored twice more to complete his hat trick.
To solidify their lead, the Lakers struck in the third with a Michael Verboom goal from Kane Elliot and Wes Baker. Two minutes later, Sacred Heart battled back on the power play from Zach Tsekos. The Lakers outshot the Pioneers by a total of 30-29.
Both teams will return to the Mercyhurst Ice Center Saturday for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop as they continue their best-of-three quarterfinal series. will head to Rochester, NY for the semi-finals.
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Michael Verboom warms up with the Lakers.
Wes Baker warms up with the Lakers.
Marcus Joseph warms up with the Pioneers.
Brett Magnus warms up with the Pioneers.
Brendan Riley falls into the boards after checking Sacred Heart’s Jordan Kaplan.
Zach Tseko falls to the ice during the first period but continues to block shots.
Kane Elliot handles the puck during the first period.
The Lakers celebrate after Jonathan Charbonneau’s goal in the first period.
Marc Johnstone falls to the ice after being tripped by Bryan Sienerth.
Marc Johnstone celebrates after getting a shot past Brandon Wildung.
Josh Lammon takes a rough hit from Rusian Rakhmatov during the second period.
Jonathan Charbonneau talks to teammate Zach Todd before a faceoff.
Michael Verboom nets the fourth goal of the evening.
The Lakers celebrate after the Verboom goal in the third.
Mike Crocock lands on top of Jack Riley in front of the net during the third.
Mike Crocock falls to the ice to try to block Josh Lammon during the third period.