ADRIAN, Mich. - Adrian College scored four goals in the second period and never looked back, advancing to the MCHA Tournament Championship with an 8-0 victory over Northland College Friday at Arrington Ice Arena.
Josh Ranalli led the way with his first career hat trick. Josh Cousineau scored twice and added a pair of assists to tie his season-high with four points.
"We have always scored goals in spurts," Adrian head coach Ron Fogarty said. "Our attack has always been that way and when they smell one they get the confidence and it's two, three, four. But, I like the 'zero' on the board for goals against better than the 'eight' goals for."
The Bulldogs led just 1-0 after one but opened the game up midway through the second period. Goalie Scott Shackell did the majority of the rest, making 24 saves before coming off the ice late in the third period to help record the combined shutout. Northland was making its first-ever appearance in the Harris Cup Four.
"Northland came at us there with a couple of spurts in the first," Fogarty said. "It's 1-0 and you hope to get the second goal sooner or later. We had to wait until the second period to get that but Shackell played well. Northland actually missed on a couple of great chances in the first. We were patient and got the job done."
Ahead just 2-0 in the middle of the second and with the LumberJacks on the power play, Shackell came up with five saves in the two-minute penalty and one on a breakaway just prior to it. That power play ended well the other way, with Andrew Dovey finding Chris Leone as he got out of the penalty box for the breakaway to make it 3-0.
"They score on that and it's a different game," Fogarty said. "That was a turning point. Leone scores on the breakaway and that was fortunate. But Shackell played well. Both goalies have played well but Shackell played extremely well when called upon."
The Bulldogs put the game out of reach at the end of the second period, scoring twice in a span of 24 seconds to make it 5-0. Cousineau tallied on an assist by Shaquille Merasty from the corner and, before the crowd had even sat back in their seats, Duston Hebebrand made it 5-0 with his fifth goal of the year.
Early in the second, it was Cousineau that made it 2-0, picking up a rebound off a shot in front, taking it to open left side and scoring easily.
The majority of the first period was scoreless, but each team had plenty of opportunities, with 26 total shots in the period. Adrian struck first, lighting the lamp at the 16:45 mark on a nice individual effort from Ranalli. Zach Graham won a face-off in front of Northland's net and Rinalli did the rest, skating to the middle and firing top-shelf from close range for his 15th goal of the season. The assist for Graham was the 100th of his career.
The Bulldogs spent little time before threatening again, with Shelby Gray putting a close-range effort off the post just 75 seconds later.
Adrian ended the night with 44 shots and a 1-for-3 showing on the power play. Northland recorded 30 shots in the loss.
Adrian will face the winner of the second semifinal, with Marian University and MSOE facing off tonight with an 8 p.m. start time. The tournament final is set for Saturday at 4 p.m., with the champion advancing to the NCAA Tournament.