by Tom Balog / Wayne State Beat Writer
Bad penalties, a short bench and the high-powered offense of the fourth-ranked team in the nation all combined to doom Wayne State at the City Sports Arena over the weekend.
The Warriors played strong in stretches, but eventually fell by final scores of 7-1 and 5-2 at the hands of the Mercyhurst Lakers.
After a scoreless opening 20 minutes on Friday, the Lakers exploded with three goals in the second and four more in the third period to cruise to victory in game one of Skate for the Cure weekend.
Meghan Agosta scored on the power-play, shorthanded and even strength to record the twelfth hat trick of her storied career.
Jess Jones also added a pair of goals and Kelley Steadman and Vicki Bendus scored singles for the Lakers.
Adrianna Pfeffer picked up her first marker of the season late in the second period.
Pfeffer skated in over the blue line and floated a shot in on the Mercyhurst net. Normally steady Hillary Pattenden misplaced the puck and it sailed in under the cross bar to make it a 3-1 game.
Pattenden finished the game with 20 saves while Delayne Brian fought off 27 shots on the opposite end.
Wayne State's already-depleted line-up took another blow late in the game when the Warriors points leader, Julie Ingratta, left the game after an apparent knee-on-knee collision with a Laker. She was a game-time decision and did play in the series finale.
The Warriors (5-7-0, 1-3-0 CHA) gave the Lakers all they could handle through two periods on Saturday afternoon, before shooting themselves in the foot and falling for the 12th consecutive time to their CHA rival.
Despite being out-shot 28-18 over the opening 40 minutes, the Warriors capitalized on their chances and scored twice to lead 2-1.
Veronique Laramee-Paquette gave WSU the lead, scoring from the right win on a 5-on-3 power play at 9:37 of the first period.
After Jess Jones tied the score for the Lakers, Gina Buquet blasted in a one-timer to put the Warriors back up by one.
Mercyhurst came out flying in the third and after Melissa Lacriox cleaned up a loose puck in the crease to tie the game, the Warriors fell apart.
Pamela Zgoda popped in the game winner just over three minutes later and then back-to-back penalties gave the Lakers a 5-3 advantage.
Bendus quickly converted at 7:17 with a two-man advantage and then Christie Cicero added another power play goal 57-seconds later to ice the game.
The frustration didn't end there for the Warriors as Buquet received a five-minute checking from behind penalty and disqualification with just two seconds left in the contest.
Brian was peppered with 45 shots in the game. Hillary Pattenden saw just 20 in the MC net.
The short-staffed Warriors will return to action back at the City Sports Center next weekend with a pair of non-conference games against the Minnesota State Mavericks. The Warriors will be sponsoring a toy drive with the DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan, offering free admission to fans who bring a new toy.
Photo courtesy Tommy Gorman / Wayne State Athletics