Merrimack Hockey Falls Just Short At #1 Boston College; Downed, 4-3
CHESTNUT HILL, MA – Three second period goals for the Warriors were not enough as the #1 Boston College Eagles downed Merrimack by the score of 4-3 at Kelley Rink. Junior goalie Sam Marotta (Bridgewater, Mass.) made a career-high 38 saves in the losing effort.
Merrimack (4-6-1, 3-3-1 HEA) will return to Lawler Arena for a non conference matchup with Colgate next Friday at 4 p.m. The game will be televised locally on WBIN and nationally on Fox College Sports.
Each team scored three times in the second period as the Warriors scored three goals in a span of 5:51 while Boston College scored three goals in a span of 5:14.
The Warriors had their best chance to score the first goal of the game less than three minutes into the opening period as Kyle Bigos (Upland, Calif.) ripped a slap shot from the point directly off the post behind Parker Milner. Shots on goal after the first period of play were even at fourteen.
Freshman John Gustafsson (Ljungby, Sweden) opened up the scoring for the Warriors as he took a nice pass from fellow freshman Brian Christie (West Chester, Pa.) and beat Milner over his blocker for his first career collegiate goal. Christie picked up his second assist of the season and Justin Mansfield (Arlington, Mass.) picked up his first of two assists on the play.
Just over two minutes later the Warriors extended their lead to 2-0 as Bigos beat the Boston College goaltender over his right shoulder with a huge slap shot from the point. The assists on Bigos' second goal of the season went to Mansfield and Rhett Bly (Regina, SK).
Hockey East leading scorer Mike Collins (Boston, Mass.) got on the board just over five minutes later to give Merrimack the 3-0 lead over the top ranked team in the country as he pounced on a loose puck in front of the net and jammed it home for his sixth goal of the season. Freshman Vinny Scotti (Vineland, NJ) and Gustafsson picked up the assists on Collins' goal.
The Eagles wasted no time responding with their first goal of the game as Steven Whitney beat Marotta over his glove, making the score 3-1 in favor of the Warriors. The Eagles made it a one goal game on the power play less than five minutes later as Patrick Wey found a loose puck and buried it behind Marotta.
Boston College tied the score at three just over a minute later as Danny Linell scored his first goal of the season on a backhand shot that beat Marotta high over the shoulder.
With 7:22 remaining in the third period, the Eagles took the 4-3 lead as Whitney scored over the glove of Marotta after a pass from Johnny Gaudreau.
The Warriors pulled their goalie with just over a minute left in regulation to try and get the tying goal but Milner turned away the Warriors' last few opportunities to preserve his ninth win of the season.
With the loss, Merrimack drops to 0-4-1 against the Eagles in their last five contests and have not won at Kelley Rink since October 31, 1997.
Boston College improves to 28-1 over their last 29 games with their only loss coming in their season opening defeat to Northeastern.
Marotta finished off his night with a career-high 38 saves including 14 in the opening frame in the loss, falling to 3-3-0 on the season. His counterpart, Milner, finished with 23 saves.
Merrimack finished the game going 0-3 on the power play while the Eagles went 1-3 with a second period power play goal.