WARRIORS POT TWO GOALS ON 31 SHOTS FRIDAY, REMAIN WINLESS IN HOCKEY EAST PLAY
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Sophomore Vinny Scotti (Vineland, N.J.) netted his second marker in as many games and junior Quinn Gould (Fort McMurray, Alberta) upped his team-leading goal total to four, but the Merrimack College men's ice hockey team surrendered three goals in the third period to Northeastern, helping the Huskies hand the Warriors a 5-2 setback in the opening bout of a weekend home-and-home series on Friday night at Lawler Rink.
Score: Northeastern 5, Merrimack 2
Records: Northeastern (7-5-0, 2-4-0 HEA) | Merrimack (3-7-1, 0-4-1 HEA)
Location: Lawler Rink | North Andover, Mass.
How It Happened
Down by a pair despite outshooting the Huskies by a 9-3 margin in the first 20 minutes, Scotti notched the only goal of the second period at 3:21 to bring the home side to within one, but Northeastern immediately answered with back-to-back strikes in the first six minutes of the third, including an extra-attacker goal from Kevin Roy and an even-strength strike from Dalen Hedges to put the visitors comfortably ahead.
Midway through the final frame, with the Warriors on the man advantage, Gould would skate in on Northeastern netminder Clay Witt and sent a backhand shot that bounced off the pads and right back to the junior's stick before burying his own rebound to make it 4-2, but three minutes later, Roy would skate in on a partial breakaway and score his second of the night to put the game away.
Northeastern found the back of the net on two of its three shots on goal in the first, opening up the scoring at 10:11 on a strike from rookie Mike Szmatula before Hedges buried the Huskies' second tally just over two minutes later, sending the visitors into the first intermission ahead 2-0 despite being outshot by six.
Merrimack continued to generate more scoring chances than the visitors in the second with a 10-7 advantage in shots and finally broke through on the man advantage, as Scotti buried his third marker of the season early in the period, with Gould and junior Clayton Jardine (Lacombe, Alberta) assisting on the power-play tally.
That would be it for either side through the rest of the second, and the Huskies used those missed Merrimack opportunities to their advantage, hopping out to a three-goal (4-1) lead on Roy's first of the game at 2:29 before Hedges potted his second at 5:58 to put the Huskies comfortably ahead.
Five minutes later, after Scotti won a faceoff draw to sophomore John Gustafsson (Ljungby, Sweden), Gould eventually wound up with the puck on the goal line and walked in on Witt; his initial chance was stopped but the rebound broke through at 11:35 to bring the Warriors within two. But with just over five minutes to play, Roy closed out the scoring by tucking a wrister from the top of the far circle through the shoulder pads of senior Sam Marotta (Bridgewater, Mass.) to pot the Huskies' fifth marker of the night.
A Closer Look
- Merrimack finished the night with a 31-25 advantage on shot attempts, including a 19-10 lead through two periods before the Huskies finished with a 15-12 edge in the final frame
- The Warriors finished the night 2-for-8 on the man advantage, marking the first time the team had scored more than one power-play goal since tallying three against Mercyhurst on Oct. 19
- The Huskies, meanwhile, went 0-for-3 on the power play, as both sides combined for 30 penalty minutes altogether
- Only Gustafsson and junior Connor Toomey (Billerica, Mass.) finished with an even plus/minus; the remaining 16 Merrimack skaters finished with a negative plus/minus
- Freshman Chris LeBlanc (Winthrop, Mass.) led all Warriors with four shots on target
- Scotti and Gould, meanwhile, finished with a team-high two points, as each had a hand on both Merrimack goals Friday
- In the midst of its first five-game winless streak since Feb. 24 – March 3 of 2012-13, the Warriors will hope to avoid their first six-game winless streak since the 2009-10 season with a win tomorrow night
Merrimack and Northeastern conclude their weekend series tomorrow night at Matthews Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.