GOULD'S THREE-POINT NIGHT HELPS MEN'S ICE HOCKEY TOP NEW HAMPSHIRE IN SERIES OPENER
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Junior Quinn Gould (Fort McMurray, Alberta) led all skaters with a goal and two assists, helping the Merrimack College men's ice hockey team snap a seven-game skid with a 4-2 victory over New Hampshire in Hockey East action on Friday night at Lawler Rink.
Score: Merrimack 4, New Hampshire 2
Records: Merrimack (8-20-3, 3-14-2 HEA) | New Hampshire (18-16-1, 10-9-0 HEA)
Location: Lawler Rink | North Andover, Mass.
How It Happened
After watching a two-goal second-period lead evaporate in the first half of the third frame, Merrimack closed the game out with the final two tallies, including Gould's game-winner at the 9:00 mark before a late empty-netter sealed the deal.
For the Warriors, it marked their first win since a Jan. 25 home victory (3-2) against Massachusetts, snapping a seven-game losing skid in the process. Friday night also marked just the fifth time that the Warriors held a two-period lead all season, as they improved to 3-2-0 in such situations after the win tonight.
Following a scoreless first, Merrimack built itself a two-goal cushion thanks to back-to-back strikes within five minutes.
Junior defenseman Justin Mansfield (Arlington, Mass.) notched the game's opening salvo after tipping in a perfect centering feed from Gould at 6:24, with senior Rhett Bly (Regina, Saskatchewan) earning the secondary assist on the play.
Five minutes later, with the Navy and Gold on the power play, sophomore Brian Christie (West Chester, Pa.) scored another gritty goal for the Warriors after slapping in a rebounded shot taken by senior Mike Collins (Boston, Mass.) at 11:10. Gould also assisted on the marker by deflecting the initial shot back to Christie.
New Hampshire took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play early in the third to get on the board, and with just over 12 minutes to go, Dalton Speelman tied things up on a wrist shot from the far circle to draw the Wildcats even.
Just 59 seconds later, though, Gould and classmate Kyle Singleton (Beaverton, Ore.) came down the ice 2-on-1, as the former tallied the game-winner at 9:00 of the third to put the home side ahead for good. Freshman Jonathan Lashyn (Camrose, Alberta) earned the secondary assist, as well.
New Hampshire would be kept in check the rest of the way before junior Connor Toomey (Billerica, Mass.) found the back of the net with nine seconds to go to account for the final margin of victory.
Junior Rasmus Tirronen (Espoo, Finland) backstopped the Warriors to victory with 23 saves, while UNH's Casey DeSmith turned away 24 for the Wildcats.
Hockey East Tournament Update
By virtue of Boston University's victory against Northeastern on Friday night, Merrimack is now locked into the #11 seed for the upcoming Hockey East Tournament.
- The Warriors are assured a road game in the best-of-one Opening Round next Friday (March 7) or Saturday (March 8)
- As of Friday night, Merrimack can play either Providence, Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont next weekend and will know its playoff fate after tomorrow night's contests
For full Hockey East standings and playoff updates, please click here.
Inside The Numbers
- Despite the final tally, Friday night's contest was relatively even, with Merrimack holding a slim 28-25 lead in shot attempts
- The Warriors dominated the second period, outshooting the Wildcats by an 11-2 margin; Merrimack also outshot the visitors, 10-8, in the first, before UNH drew closer in that category with a 13-9 shot attempt edge over the final 20 minutes
- In addition to Gould's three-point night, Christie and Ellis each chipped in two points for the visitors, who improved 7-7-0 at Lawler Rink in the process
- Collins led all skaters with six shot attempts, while two Wildcats tallied four shots apiece
The Warriors and Wildcats round out the weekend series right back at Lawler Rink tomorrow (March 1) night. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. Prior to the game, the Athletic Department will honor the Warriors' six seniors in a special pregame ceremony.