HARTFORD, Conn. – Down by two goals with 10 minutes to play, sophomore Ludvig Larsson (Malmo, Sweden) found the back of the net twice – including an extra-attacker marker with 30 seconds to play – to help the Merrimack College men's ice hockey team rally for a point in the league standings, as the Warriors skated to a 2-2 tie against the University of Connecticut on Saturday afternoon at the XL Center.
Score: Merrimack 2, Connecticut 2 (F/OT)
Records: Merrimack (10-13-5, 4-7-5 HEA) | Connecticut (10-10-8, 6-6-4 HEA)
Location: XL Center | Hartford, Conn.
Game Duration: 2:18
How It Happened
- Following last night's script, neither side would find the back of the net in the opening stanza, but unlike last night, UConn would be the first team to break through; the Huskies cashed in on their third power play of the night with Evan Richardson's fifth goal of the year, which came after the senior cut into the high slot and unleashed a wrister that went in glove side.
- Merrimack had a power play of its own shortly after but was unable to do much with it, and from there on out the second period saw limited scoring chances for either side, as the Warriors went into the second intermission with only nine shots on goal up to that point.
- Spencer Naas pushed the home side's lead to two after redirecting a shot from Corey Ronan directly in front of the net at 5:28 of the third.
- As has been the case with these two teams in recent years, Merrimack would not go quietly, as Larsson scored his first goal since Dec. 29 while on the power play, as a loose puck in the slot area bounced onto his stick and he punched it past UConn goaltender Adam Huska for the Warriors' first goal. Junior Jace Hennig (Port Moody, British Columbia) was credited with an assist on the play, as well.
- The Warriors still found themselves behind by a goal entering the final minute; after each side called their timeout and Merrimack pulled junior Collin Delia (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) for the extra attacker, Larsson would cap off the comeback at 19:30, punching in a loose puck that sat in the crease area to send the game to overtime for the fourth straight time in the series.
- The Warriors would tally the only shot on goal in overtime, but once again, the final horn sounded with Merrimack and UConn knotted at two, giving each a point in the league standings by virtue of the schools' second straight season split.
Notes & Notables
- After going eight straight games without a power play goal, Merrimack now has at least one in eight of its last 10 games and ranks in the top-10 nationally in power play conversion in that span.
- Merrimack and UConn have now skated to four straight ties and five in their last six games; even more incredible, no team has won by more than a goal in each of the last six games (each side is 1-1-5 in that span).
- Larsson recorded his first career multi-goal game and was the second Warrior to post an extra-attacker goal this year; junior Brett Seney (London, Ontario) did so in a delayed penalty situation in a 4-2 win against Northern Michigan on Dec. 29, 2016.
Seney| Gustafsson | Tavernier
Hennig| L. Larsson | LeBlanc
Babcock | A. Larsson | Tibbet
Coomes | Petti | Irvine
Biega | Carle
Kolquist | Kovacevic
Solow | Cook
Game Leaders (MC // UCONN)
- Points: Larsson/Hennig (2) // Five players (1)
- Goals: Larsson (2) // Richardson/Naas (1)
- Assists: Hennig (2) // Three players (1)
- Shots: Larsson (4) // Three players (3)
- Faceoffs Won: Alfred Larsson (11) // Maxim Letunov (9)
- Saves: Collin Delia (22-for-24) // Adam Huska (17-for-19)
Facts and Figures (MC // UCONN)
- Power Plays: 1-3 // 1-3
- Penalties: 4 Penalties – 8 Minutes // 4 Penalties – 8 Minutes
- Faceoffs: 25 // 27
- SOG: 4-7 // 5-8 // 9-9 // 1-0 // 19-24
Merrimack will play just once next week when it heads to Conte Forum for a Friday (Feb. 10) night matchup against Boston College. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on regional affiliate NESN and on other networks across the country via American Sports Network.