Eagles Blast Cougars, Earn Home Playoff Game

ST. DAVIDS, Pa.-Eastern bombarded the Misericordia Cougars 16-2 in Saturday's rematch of the 2013 Freedom Conference Championship.

The Eagles (10-4, 4-0 Freedom) clinched a home conference playoff game with Saturday's win. Eastern has now won five games in a row and in the last three games, the Eagles have out-scored their opponents 49-8.

Eagles' goalie Pat Groschan was stellar in the cage, denying 11 Misericordia shots on goal while only giving up one goal. Groschan, a senior, has recorded 123 saves this year and has a goals against average of 7.9 (101 goals allowed in 767 minutes).

On the attack, Eric Waibel, Dave Darling and Grant Ferguson each scored three goals. Darling, who also had three assists, had his fifth game this season with at least six points.

The Cougars tried to face-guard Ferguson and Darling to start the game, but that strategy back-fired. Dez Decker, Andrew Travers and Andy Jameson scored early first-quarter goals (Jameson scored twice) to put Eastern ahead 4-0 midway through the first quarter. Travers' goal came from of his knees after he finished off a ricocheted shot by Decker.

Darling canned the first of his three goals with 5:13 to play in the first quarter, bringing the ball in-bounds after backing up a missed shot, juking his defender and firing a shot as he wrapped in front of the cage.

Misericordia ended the shutout with a goal with 44 seconds left in the quarter by Patrick Kellish.

The Eagles then went on to tally 11 goals in a row, starting with a Ferguson goal with 17 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Ferguson eclipsed current assistant coach and former player Nick Mandia on Eastern's all-time points list. Ferguson is alone in second-place with 162 career points and is chasing Chris Farrar's record of 197 points.

Eastern's Bryan Goetz and Kyle Gillam got in on the scoring fiesta in the third and early fourth. Goetz finished with one goal and Gillam tallied two.

Eastern's faceoff game was dominant once again. Sophomore Matt Lee claimed 13 of 15 faceoffs.

Eastern is currently tied for first in the Freedom Conference with DeSales University (4-0). The Eagles finish the season with Manhattanville on Thursday and then DeSales on Saturday, April 26.

2014-04-12



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