CANANDAIGUA -- As part of a back-to-back home stand this past weekend, the Lakers (0-1-1) ended the duo of games with a tough a loss in what was their second contest of the season on Sunday (8/26). Leading Mercyhurst North East 1-nil in the 81st minute of the game, Finger Lakes CC failed to hold on for victory as the Saints found the back of the net for a pair of goals over the remaining 9 minutes. Needless to say, Mercyhurst took the win, 2-1.
Up until those remaining 9 minutes, this game was thoroughly dominated by Finger Lakes. The Lakers established a 1-0 lead in the first half behind strong possessions and solid team play. Their one goal was credited to forward Sahbaz Sabanovic and was assisted by defenseman Justin Gilfert. Sabanovic's goal was his 2nd on the young season.
The Lakers lead appeared to most spectators as untouchable – until a key defender of theirs went down and couldn't return to game action.
Right around the 78th minute of the game is when the tides started to shift for the Lakers. It was then that Finger Lakes momentum began to falter. It was then when they lost one of their most potent center backs for the remainder of the game – starter Ryan Haines. Haines was forced to leave the game due to blood on his jersey.
The loss of Haines proved to be pivotal for Finger Lakes. His size and length, which are both necessary for being dominant on the defensive side of the ball, were now vacant on the playing premises. His subtraction gave the Saints new hope.
Shortly after Haines left the game, Mercyhurst went into full attack mode – notching the 2 goals that proved to be enough to better the Lakers.
Leaving those goals out of the equation, Finger Lakes, for the second consecutive game, played a hard-fought battle. They came out swinging with the mindset that they were indestructible. The Lakers showcased great tenacity and were religious to never giving up. Conceding these 2 goals to Mercyhurst will not define Finger Lakes season.
A team with major upside and great promise, the Lakers will remain at home for their next game as they are scheduled to take on Onondaga CC tomorrow (8/28) at 4:00 p.m.