CRANBERRY TWP., Pa. — The Slippery Rock Pride avenged their 8-1 loss a week prior to the Robert Morris Colonials by shelling the Mercyhurst Lakers, 7-1, on Friday night at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. Kevin Koett, who entered the contest with one goal and one assist in 16 games on the season, scored three goals to record a hat trick as the Pride continued a gauntlet of 10 straight conference games in the second half of the season.
Christian Miller scored at 3:09 of the first period to give Slippery Rock a 1-0 lead before Koett scored his second goal of the season at 15:18. The teams played 4-on-4 to end the first period and start the second period after Jacob Ugenti gave Slippery Rock goaltender Kevin Belanger a snow shower with 15 seconds left in the first period. Matthew Michalowski came to his goaltender’s defense and drew his own unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as a result.
Besides more occasional 4-on-4 opportunities, the game was physical, but clean. Regardless, Slippery Rock had no intention of repeating their performance from the previous week, as John Seibert gave the Pride a 3-0 lead just over three minutes into the second period. Koett got his second of the game at 10:45 and Connor Scott made it 5-0 just five minutes later.
The Pride then went on their first power play of the game – and the first for either side – and promptly took full advantage when Antonio Esposito made it 6-0 just five minutes into the third period. Koett finished the hat trick at 11:37, Mercyhurst managed one goal to get on the board in the waning minutes, and Slippery Rock took the 7-1 victory to improve to 7-9-2 overall and 4-2-1 in conference play.
Saturday’s victory was much closer than Friday’s, as Slippery Rock edged by Mercyhurst, 4-3 in overtime, at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
UP NEXT: Slippery Rock will travel to John Carroll on Friday, Jan. 24 at Gilmour Academy Ice Arena at 8:10 p.m. Mercyhurst will host IUP on Friday, Jan. 24 at Mercyhurst Ice Center at 10 p.m.
MAJOR FOCUS: SLIPPERY ROCK DEFEATS MERCYHURST, 7-1 (FULL GALLERY)