Sophomore forward Aaron O'Neill registered his first career hat trick in the game's first 20 minutes but Lake Forest was defeated 6-3 Friday night at Adrian College, the 10th-ranked team in the nation.
O'Neill gave the visitors the lead on each of his three scores, including one just 10 seconds into the contest. He won the opening draw, sending the puck back to sophomore Mark DerManulian, whose D-to-D pass went to junior Zach Feldman. Fedldman's pass up the left boards deflected off the stick of senior forward Cody Guidorzi at the red line and found O'Neill on his way into the Bulldogs' zone. O'Neill beat the Adrian goalie glove-side, giving the Foresters a very early 1-0 advantage.
The home team tied the score two-and-a-half minutes later but O'Neill struck again at the 7:08 mark. Guidorzi came out from behind the Forester net with the puck and left it along the right bords for senior forward Bron Loiselle, whose long diagonal pass connected with O'Neill just as he crossed the Adrian blue line. O'Neill once again put it between the goaltender and the right post to make it a 2-1 game.
After Adrian tied the score again at 15:11, O'Neill completed the hat trick with a power play goal in the final minute of the period. Junior defenseman Connor Duncan and senior defenseman Ryan Kruss set up the score, the latter finding O'Neill in between the circles, where he deflected the pass past the goalie to send the Foresters into the locker room at the first intermission ahead 3-2, despite the Bulldogs' 17-5 advantage in shots on goal. O'Neill now leads the team with 10 goals on the season.
Adrian continued to outshoot the visitors in the final two periods and scored twice in each stanza. The final three goals came on the power play and the Bulldogs finished the contest 3-for-7 and the Foresters 1-for-4 with the man-advantage.
Lake Forest and Adrian entered the night tied atop the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association standings. The loss dropped the Foresters' overall record to 10-7-5 and NCHA mark to 8-4-3 while the Bulldogs improved to 15-6-1 overall and 10-4-1 in the league.
The Foresters will travel to Indiana to face Trine University Saturday night at 7:00 (ET).