Mercy accepts Cranbrook gifts for 3-1 win
Eleven days before Christmas, the Cranbrook Cranes were already in the spirit of giving when they afforded the visiting Mercy Marlins two power play goals and another on a breakaway in a 3-1 loss at Wallace Arena.
Although they grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first period on Jaden Bertuzzi’s goal from Olive Stevens, and held the advantage halfway through the game, the Cranes dropped their Scrooge persona.
Mercy was not shy about accepting Cranbrook’s generosity.
“Mercy played an aggressive game and we did not move our feet at times, resulting in odd man rushes and penalties,” said Cranbrook head coach Alexis Bohlinger. “Mercy had two power play goals which killed us.”
It was the Marlins’ Hannah Roegner who tied it 1-1 at 7:49 to play in the second period with assists from Emily McCann and Mila Fons. It took only eight seconds into the power play to click and beat Cranes goalie Maggi McMurray.
That by no means meant game over yet as Mercy took a penalty and Cranbrook opened the third period with 1:18 of power play time left. If it wasn’t for Mercy goalie Zabrina LeVasseur the Cranes would have led again. She stopped a breakaway with a huge sliding save on Robin Goldman.
Then, seconds later, Bertuzzi also had a golden chance on the power play and didn’t quite get everything on a shot and LeVasseur stopped it leaving Bertuzzi raising her stick high over her head in frustration.
After that Mercy stepped it up again looking to take advantage of morehn Cranbrook hospitality.
“Mercy gained steam at the end and we lost ours, which is something we know we need to work on as a team,” said Bohlinger.
With 3:24 left another Cranbrook penalty set the table for Mercy’s 2-1 lead on a goal with 2:00 to play by Libby Bartels and assists from Makena Duval and Natalie Masopust.
While pressing in the last minute to get the puck in the offensive zone to get McMurray out of the net for another skater, the Marlins blocked a pass and Fons saw the loose puck.
“I saw no one there and just went for it,” said the Mercy defenseman who scored on a backhand shot, which is rarely seen these days, but Fons added: “It’s my specialty.”
“We dominated the game, but it was a matter of making the (scoring) plays happen,” said Fons, a senior, “making the complete plays and going to the net.”
Mercy head coach Dave Roegner said his team played a strong game, but even in light of that “It still could have gone either way with four minutes to play. And to be fair they still have a couple of key players missing with injuries and when they come back to our building later in the season it could be a different ballgame.”
The final shots on goal according to a Cranbrook statistician were 24 for Mercy and 15 for the Cranes.
The Cranes and Marlins will meet again at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, at Eddie Edgar Arena in Livonia.