Marywood Rallies to Edge Misercordia in ECAC Semifinals

Westminster, MD Marywood overcame a 9-6 deficit by scoring four goals in the final 7:54 of Saturday's ECAC semifinal game to claim a thrilling 10-9 victory over Misericordia on Saturday evening.

Marcus Janda netted the game-winning goal off a Joe LaBella assist with one second remaining in regulation for the second-seeded Pacers, who now advance to Sunday's championship game where they will face top-seed and host McDaniel College at 3:00 p.m.

Dylan Swope open up the scoring for Marywood just over two and half minutes into Saturday's game off a Riley Dobel assist, then restored the Pacers' lead at 2-1 after Misericordia tied the game by netting an unassisted marker with 3:43 left in the first quarter. A pair of Cougar goals separated by just 1:03 late in the opening frame would give Misericordia a 3-2 advantage after the first 15 minutes of play.

The Cougars extended their lead to 4-2 just 20 seconds into the second quarter before Sam Trill got one back for the Pacers midway through the period. Misericordia pushed their lead to 5-3 at the 5:34 mark of the period, but Janda cut Marywood's deficit to one-goal heading into halftime after finding the back of the net after taking a pass from Ryan Nowell.

James Martell tied the game back up 3:13 into the third period, but Misericordia countered just 16 seconds later to hold a 6-5 advantage. Marywood again drew level at the 7:29 mark when Trill setup Taylor Goldson for a goal, but the Cougars would hold a 7-6 lead heading into the final stanza after getting a tally with 4:09 left in the third quarter.

Misericordia scored a pair of goals in the first 2:44 of the fourth period to stretch their lead to 9-6. LaBella brought Marywood back to within two goals with an unassisted marker before Trill scored a man-down goal with 3:24 left in regulation to cut the Pacers' deficit to 9-8. The freshman attackman, who set a new single-season program record for points in a season on Saturday, leveled the scored at nine-apiece with 1:16 remaining, setting the stage for LaBella to set up Janda's heroic goal with one second left on the clock.

Trill led Marywood with four points on three goals and one assist while Swope (2 goals), Janda (2 goals), and LaBella (1 goal, 1 assist) each added multi-point performances in the win. Nicholas Cornella was outstanding in goal for Marywood, making 21 saves to earn his 10th win of the season. Nick Johnson led the Pacers defensively with five groundballs and two caused turnovers while John Pelligrini added four groundball collections on the night.

Lee Blair paced the Cougars attack with five points on two goals and three helpers while Josh Schwartz (2 goals), Andrew Reynolds (1 goal, 1 assist), Sean McGuigan (1 goal, 1 assist), and Nick Santillo (1 goal, 1 assist) all added two-points for Misericordia, who held a 49-36 advantage in shots for the game. Patrick Johnson suffered the loss in goal despite turning aside 10 Marywood shots as the Cougars finish the 2012 season with an 11-5 record.

Marywood, who secured their fourth-straight season with at least 10 wins, will be shooting for their first-ever ECAC Championship on Sunday against McDaniel (10-7), who defeated Morrisville State 13-7 in Saturday's other semifinal game. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. in Westminster, MD.


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