AMHERST, Mass. – A strong effort from start to finish and three different goal-scorers propelled the Merrimack College men's ice hockey team to a 3-0 road win at the University of Massachusetts on Tuesday night at the Mullins Center. The Warriors see their unbeaten streak move to six games (4-0-2), their longest since the 2011-12 season.
Score: Merrimack 3, Massachusetts 0
Records: Merrimack (12-13-5, 6-7-5 HEA) | Massachusetts (5-24-2, 2-16-1 HEA)
Location: Mullins Center | Amherst, Mass.
Game Duration: 2:07
Hockey East Playoff Picture
All teams qualify for postseason; seeds 1-4 earn first round bye; seeds 5-8 host 9-12 in best-of-three first round; winning teams advance, bracket is re-seeded, and seeds 1-4 host best-of-three quarterfinal series; winners advance to Championship Weekend at TD Garden
1. Boston College (13 league wins/27 points) – H2H vs. PC,
2. Boston U. (11/24) H2H vs. BC, PC
3. Notre Dame (10/23) H2H vs. UVM, UNH, NU
4. UMass Lowell (11/23) H2H vs. UVM, UNH, MC
5. Providence (10/22) H2H vs. UML, UNH, UC
6. Vermont (9/20) H2H vs. NU
7. New Hampshire (7/17) H2H vs. MC, NU, ME
8. Merrimack (6/17) H2H vs. BC, BU, PC
9. Connecticut (6/16) H2H vs. UML
10. Northeastern (6/15) H2H vs. MC
11. Maine (4/9) H2H vs. UMA
12. Massachusetts (2/9)
NOTE – Not confirmed by Hockey East; other scenarios may exist
Wins = 2 pts, Ties = 1 pt
H2H = Team has won head-to-head tiebreaker vs. abbreviated team
Tiebreakers: Head-to-head; # of wins in conf. play; Record vs. first-place team, then second-place team, etc.; Coin flip
How It Happened
- After the game's opening few minutes saw each side miss out on quality scoring chances, it was Merrimack that broke through after freshman Sami Tavernier (Morzine, France) took the puck in from the right wall and curled behind the net for a wraparound chance; the puck deflected off junior Brett Seney (London, Ontario) and in to give the visitors the first lead of the night at the 8:29 mark.
- Late in the period, Merrimack went to an extended power play after UMass' Austin Plevy was given a five-minute major and game misconduct; the Warriors quickly capitalized thanks to sophomore Alex Carle (Anchorage, Alaska), as a the visitors worked the puck in front where it was deflected off of senior Chris LeBlanc (Winthrop, Mass.) and into the far corner to sophomore Ludvig Larsson (Malmo, Sweden), who fed Carle for a wrister from above the far circle that found the twine and make it 2-0.
- The visitors pushed their lead to three at 5:35 of the middle stanza off an odd-man rush from the UMass blue line that ended with freshman Johnathan Kovacevic (Grimsby, Ontario) scoring for the third time this season; Tavernier intercepted a clearing attempt in front of the penalty box and pushed the puck down the left wing boards to Seney, who curled around the net to find a trailing Kovacevic for a wide-open wrist shot from inside the right circle.
- UMass thought it was on the board at the 7:40 mark of the third, but Steven Iacobellis' would-be goal was overturned after video replay deemed that contact was made with junior Collin Delia (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.).
- That was the last time UMass would get close, as Delia recorded his third career shutout – and second this season – with his 21-save performance on Tuesday night.
Notes & Notables
- After going eight straight games without a power play goal, Merrimack now has at least one in nine of its last 12 games and ranks in the top-10 nationally in power play conversion in that span.
- Carle scored for the first time since Oct. 27, 2016, in a 3-2 win at home against Cornell.
- Over Merrimack's unbeaten streak (since Jan. 24), Seney now has nine points (3g, 4a), the most among all Warriors.
- Tavernier posted his second straight multi-point game and third in his last four outings; he now ranks second on the team with eight points (1g, 7a) since Jan. 24.
- Merrimack improved to 9-2-1 when scoring first, 8-1-1 when leading after the first and 11-0-3 when leading after two periods with Friday's win. The Warriors 11-0-1 when scoring three or more goals in a game.
Seney | Gustafsson | Tavernier
Hennig | L. Larsson | LeBlanc
Babcock | A. Larsson | Tibbet
Coomes | Petti | Irvine
Biega | Carle
Kolquist | Kovacevic
Lashyn | Cook
Game Leaders (MC // UM)
- Points: Seney/Tavernier (2) // Cangelosi/Ryan Fitzgerald (3)
- Goals: Three players (3) // Cangelosi (2)
- Assists: Tavernier (2) // Fitzgerald (3)
- Shots: Tavernier (5) // Connor Moore (5)
- Faceoffs Won: Gustafsson (10) // Julius Mattila (12)
- Saves: Collin Delia (21-for-21) // Alex Wakaluk (29-for-32)
Facts and Figures (MC // UM)
- Power Plays: 1-5 // 0-2
- Penalties: 2 Penalties – 4 Minutes // 5 Penalties – 21 Minutes
- Faceoffs: 19 // 29
- SOG: 10-4 // 16-6 // 6-12 // 32-22
Merrimack returns home for the final time this regular season when it hosts the University of Maine for a two-game set at Lawler Rink starting Friday. Puck drop each night is set for 7 p.m.