Tonight, the Lakers of Mercyhurst played a more complete game than in the series opener against Bentley. With that said they only mustered one goal on the night, and came up on the short end of a 3-1 result. To the Lakers’ credit, they outworked the Falcons in the third frame, and outshot them on the evening. Evan Debrouwer’s near perfect night is why the Falcons took the sweep from the Lakers, combined with Mercyhurst not generating enough at five-on-five play. Debrouwer’s work was near perfect all weekend, and since the Saturday start against AIC a few weeks ago, he has been arguably the best goalie in this conference.
“Sometimes the hockey gods if those exist were not smiling on us. We just couldn’t solve a very good goaltender tonight.” This is what Head Coach Rick Gotkin said of the evening.
On where their conference is, and where his team is moving forward, Gotkin said of Atlantic Hockey, “All those teams are pretty even. No one is out of it… I like our chances against against anybody.”
Gotkin then talked a bit more about the 3-1 loss saying that “sometimes there’s no justice.”
“We just had games to fill” first time home and home
“Our record really hasn’t reflected at times how we’ve played.” Gotkin has been coaching for three plus decades in part because he drives forward the right way to play the game. His team did that tonight, with no points to show for their work.
Gotkin then took time to talk about a few of his players.
“ I marvel at someone whose never been here .. he doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. He just has to keep going.” Crawford was chosen as captain without playing a minute of Laker Hockey. He was picked to lead a young team full of skill and mentor the budding stars this group has because of his work ethic at Notre Dame and his impression on campus. It does take a special leader to earn trust without playing a minute in your uniform, and Gotkin has one in Crawford.
On Dante Sheriff, who just had his first weekend back Gotkin was happy with what he saw, saying that, “every time he touches the puck, he’s a threat, he generates offense.”
Going forward, Mercyhurst has an opportunity to get better next week against Miami of Ohio, at home , and accrue another big non conference win to bolster their national standings while helping their conference in that regard this season too.
Gotkin thinks that his team played well, without getting any points but is better positioned to face Miami next week. Gotkin also praised his coaching staff for helping him and working together. “ at the end of the day I’m a guy that maybe gets too much credit.”