Rensselaer Betters Mercyhurst

TROY, N.Y. - Senior defenseman Nick Bailen scored twice to lead the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men's hockey team to a 4-2 win over Mercyhurst College in a non-league hockey game at the Houston Field House. The Engineers improve to 2-5-2, while the Lakers fall to 3-3-1.

RPI took an early lead when freshman Milos Bubela (Banska Bystrica, Slovakia / Dubuque Fighting Saints) deflected a Craig Bokenfohr (Spruce Grove, AB / Camrose Kodiaks) point shot into the back of the net at 6:00. The goal was the second of the season for Bubela, who was stationed in the slot, while the assist was the first career point for Bokenfohr, a freshman defenseman.

Bailen (Fredonia, NY / Indiana Ice) doubled the Engineers' lead when he snapped in a wristshot after collecting a pass from Matt Neal (Minesing, ON / Stoufville Spirit) and cutting toward the middle of the ice. Bailen's goal, his third of the season, came at 9:52 of the first period.

Following a scoreless second period, RPI increased its lead to 3-0 when sophomore Mark McGowan (Toronto, ON / Oakville Blades) scored from right outside the crease. Freshman Mike Zalewski (New Hartford, NY / Vernon Vipers) controlled the puck behind the net and fed McGowan, who tallied for the second time this season.

Mercyhurst got that goal back three minutes later when senior Paul Chiasson (Toronto, ON / Toronto Jr. Canadiens) scored a power play goal at 6:14. The Lakers then got a shorthanded goal from Matthew Zay (Glendale, NY / Pembroke Lumber Kings) at 10:37 to make it a one-goal deficit.

Bailen scored on the power play with just 43 seconds remaining in the third period to seal the victory, which snapped a seven-game (0-5-2) winless streak for RPI.

Senior Bryce Merriam (Bethel Park, PA / Topeka RoadRunners) was solid in the RPI net, making 27 saves. He had 13 stops in the third period alone. Max Strang (Gilbertsville, PA / Sioux Falls Stampede), also a senior, had 19 saves for Mercyhurst, which lost for the first time in its last five games (3-1-1).

These same two teams play again on Saturday night at 7pm at the Houston Field House.