By Tom Balog / Wayne State Beat Writer
Make it eight years and eight CHA championships as the Mercyhurst Lakers escaped the City Sports Center in Detroit with a 3-1 win over the Syracuse Orange.
Converted Laker blueliner Ashley Cockell started the scoring at 15:44 of the first period with her 20th marker of the season.
The Lakers out shot the Orange 20-7 in the first period and 22-5 in the second period, but thanks to Orange netminder Lucy Schoedel, the score remained 1-0 going into the final frame.
Swiss Olympian Stephanie Marty gave the Orange something to cheer about at 5:11 of the third, scoring her 16th goal of the season on a 5-on-3 power play to tie the score at 1-all.
The Orange and Lakers traded power plays from there and with just 1:21 remaining, the record-setting Mercyhurst penalty killing unit increased their NCAA record by scoring their 22nd shorthanded marker of the year.
Mercyhurst took advantage of a Syracuse line change as Cassea Schols picked up a puck near center ice and quickly got it up to Cockell. Cockell went in one-on-one with Schoedel and slid the puck through the five-hole for the game winner.
Jesse Scanzano added a late empty-net goal for the top-tanked Lakers (29-2-3, 14-1-1 CHA), who will now await the seedings for the NCAA Tournament that will be announced Sunday night.
Schoedel was named to the CHA All-Tournament Team and finished with a career-high 48 saves.
Hillary Pattenden stopped 19 on the other end for MC.
Cockell was named tourney MVP, joining teammates Baily Bram, Scanzano and defenseman Melissa Lacroix on the All-Tournament Team.
Syracuse forward Lisa Mullan and blueline Gabrielle Beaudry rounded out the tournament team.
In just their second season, the Orange finished with an 18-17-1 overall record, including 8-8-0 in CHA conference play.
Photo courtesy Mercyhurst Athletics.