HARMAR TWP., Pa. — Mark Lauria score four goals in a rowas the Pitt Panthers once again steamrolled the Slippery Rock Pride, 7-1, Saturday at Alpha Ice Complex.
Lauria’s four goals came in the second half of what was a tale of two halves. After a close first period, Pitt held a slim 2-1 lead. Pine-Richland alum Will Studt opened the scoring for the Panthers halfway through the first period before Christian Miller tied the game for Slippery Rock five minutes later. Tyler Skomsky gave Pitt the lead for good at the end of the first period with three minutes remaining with a power play goal.
Jacob Tepe added the insurance just three minutes into the second period before Lauria took all the attention. Two goals in the second period and two in the third sealed the victory for Pitt, 7-1. The Panther return to the CHMA Championship for the first time since 2017, when they fell to the John Carroll Blue Streaks. Pitt still made the ACHA Tournament that year, falling to No. 14 Oklahoma, due to winning the regular season CHMA championship.
Pitt goaltender Matt Snader saved 19 of 20 shots on goal in the win. Slippery Rock goaltender Kevin Belanger saved 32 of 39 in the loss.
The Panthers are currently ranked No. 18 in the nation. The top 20 teams receive a bid to the ACHA Tournament unless bumped by an unranked conference champion. Pitt will receive the CHMA’s automatic bid with a win over IUp or Robert Morris Sunday.
MAJOR FOCUS: Pitt pummels Slippery Rock – again – 7-1