By Tom Balog/Wayne State Beat Writer
The long-awaited matchup between the tenth-ranked Wayne State Warriors and the No. 5 Mercyhurst Lakers in Erie, Pa., turned out to be not much of a matchup at all with the home team cruising to a pair of 4-2 wins and a share of first place in the CHA.
Wayne State’s nine-game unbeaten streak and perfect mark in the CHA came to an end on Friday afternoon at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
Mercyhurst jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Geena Prough and Meghan Agosta.
Senior center Lindsay DiPietro got the Warriors on the board with a power-play marker at 8:36, but Jess Jones added another to give the home team a 3-1 lead after one period of play.
Former Laker Natalie Payne (pictured) cut the lead back to one, scoring her sixth of the season at the 10-minute mark of the second.
Vicki Bendus put the Lakers back up by two goals for good with an extra-strength marker at 14:30 of the second to wrap up the scoring.
Lindsey Park was peppered in the WSU net, but was rewarded with third star honors after making 39 stops.
Hillary Pattenden was forced to make only 12 saves between the pipes for MC.
Saturday’s finale was all Mercyhurst with the Lakers blasting out to a 4-0 lead by the 11:21 mark of the second period.
Jess Jones led MC with a pair of markers and Cassea Schols and Jesse Scanzano also scored for the Lakers, who have now won 16 of their last 17 games.
For the second straight game, Payne and DiPietro lit the lamp for WSU.
Delayne Brian stopped 30 shots in net for Wayne State, while Pattenden turned aside 23 for Mercyhurst.
Wayne State will take a week off before facing the Niagara Purple Eagles at the City Sports Center in Detroit on Feb. 13-14. WSU swept NU on their home ice, 5-3 and 4-2, back in early December.