TROY, NY – Oren Eizenman and Jake Morissette scored power-play goals in the first 2:52 of the contest to lead Rensselaer Polytechnic to a 4-1 win over Merrimack College in non-conference action Sunday evening in New York.
Matt Angers-Goulet had a goal and an assist and both Jake Luthi and Morrissette dished out two helpers as the Engineers remained unbeaten in their last five games and improved to 4-1-3. The Warriors, who allowed four power-play goals for the second time this season, lost their fourth-straight and fell to 1-8-1.
Eizenman’s third goal of the season came on a 5-on-3 advantage just 2:16 into the first period, as he banged home a loose puck in front of Warriors netminder Patrick Watson (Waltham, MA). Paul Kerins and Luthi recorded assists on the goal.
Just 36 seconds later, Morissette’s shot from the point was tipped and dropped behind Watson to push the lead to 2-0. The goal, his fifth of the season, was assisted by Jonathan Ornelas and Angers-Goulet. RPI finished the period 2-for-3 on the power play while the Warriors failed to convert on three chances. The Engineers also outshot Merrimack 9-7 in the frame.
In the second, RPI appeared to take a 3-0 just past the midway point but referee Eugene Binda, Jr. riled the shot struck the post. Seconds later, Angers-Goulet took a pass from Eizenman and beat Watson from the right circle to give the Engineers a 3-0 lead at 11:26. Morissette received the second assist on Angers-Goulet’s first goal of the season.
Merrimack got on the board 23 seconds later when junior Jordan Hart (Huntington, NY) fired a shot through a screen, cutting the deficit to 3-1. Senior Matt Byrnes (Denver, CO) won an offensive-zone draw back to Hart at the right point, who tallied his first goal of the season and second career. The period ended with RPI holding slim 14-13 edge in shots while converting 1-of-3 PP chances in the period.
Eizenman’s second power-play goal of the game and fourth tally of the season at 4:14 of the third gave the Engineers a three-goal cushion. Luthi and Seth Klerer were credited with assists.
Later, Merrimack had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:22 following a minor penalty to Jordan Cyr for hooking and a five-minute major to Peter Merth for checking from behind. Shortly after the minor penalty expired, MC freshman Mike Vaskivuo (Helsinki, Finland) was sent off for hooking, negating all but the remaining 54 seconds of the power play chance from the major penalty. All told, the Warriors were unable to score in 3:28 of power-play time. The period ended with RPI outshooting the Warriors 25-24 and 4-for-9 on the power play.
Watson made 21 saves in his second start of the season and fell to 0-2-0. Mathais Lange made 23 saves to earn his second win of the season.
The Warriors return to action this Saturday when they travel to Vermont to face the Catamounts at Gutterson Field House at 7 p.m.