BOSTON, MA – Chris Barton (Calgary,
Alberta) scored two goals 2:31 apart in the second period
in a 5-2 loss to fifth-ranked Boston University Friday night.
The Terriers came out firing, getting two goals in the first 7:07 with Vinny Saponari knocking in a rebound at 1:22 and Brandon Yip registering a power-play tally as he wristed one over the blocker of Andrew Braithwaite (Kingston, Ontario) from in between the circles.
Merrimack had two excellent chances on its fourth power play late in the first period, but point-blank shots from Joe Cucci (Melrose Park, IL), Francois Ouimet (Lorraine, Quebec) and Elliott Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) were denied by the pads of freshman goaltender Kieran Millan.
Yip would add a shorthanded tally, converting a three-on-two break with Merrimack up a man early in the second period for his second of the game.
Immediately following a two-man advantage midway through the second in which the Warriors posted three shots, Barton buried a rebound off a shot from Pat Bowen (Marshfield, MA) for his first of the year. The sophomore picked the puck up in between the circles and wheeled around, firing a shot that beat a surprised Millan over his glove at 16:16 of the second. Sheen got the second assist on the goal, his first collegiate point.
Barton, who posted two goals against BU last season, batted a rebound into the net off a shot from the point from freshman Karl Stollery (Camrose, Alberta) at 18:47 on the power-play to bring the Warriors to within one before the second intermission. Ouimet got the other assist on Merrimack’s first power play goal of the season.
But the Terriers responded early in the third, as Luke Popko and Matt Gilroy scored 1:09 apart, regaining the three goal lead for the hosts to put the game away.
Braithwaite was strong between the pipes, stopping 23 shots.
Five-on-five play was hard to find as the teams combined for 16 minor penalties in the first two periods and 19 in the game. Merrimack finished 1-for-9 on the power play, compared with two-for-eight for BU.
Merrimack (1-1, 0-1 HEA) visits Army Saturday night at 7 p.m. The game, which will be Army’s first of the season, can be heard live online at merrimackathletics.com. In North Andover last season, Merrimack defeated Army 4-1.