PROVIDENCE, RI. - Joe Loprieno’s (Bloomingdale, IL) wrist shot with 4:23 remaining in regulation gave Merrimack the 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Brown University Sunday afternoon at the Meehan Auditorium.
With the play at four-at-four, Loprieno skated down the right side and blasted a shot past Brown netminder Dan Rosen for his second in as many games and on the season, with freshmen Fraser Allan (North Battleford, Sask.) and Chris Barton (Calgary, Alberta) picking up assists.
Then with Loprieno and Matt Jones (Kentwood, MI) in the box with time winding down, the Warriors killed off a 21-second two-man advantage and were short-handed for the final 2:38 but came up big defensively to pick up their ninth victory of the season, fifth against non-conference teams.
After a scoreless first period, the Brown Bears broke through midway through the second as Chris Poli knocked in a loose puck in front of goaltender Andrew Braithwaite (Kingston, Ontario) moments after Rob Ricci (Brampton, Ontario) drilled the crossbar on a two-on-one shorthanded.
The Warriors responded less than two minutes later with both teams skating four aside, as J.C. Robitaille (Des Ruisseaux, Quebec) got his own rebound and fired one past a sprawling Dan Rosen, who was out of position after stopping Robitaille’s initial shot. Defenseman Pat Bowen (Marshfield, MA) and Ricci picked up the assists on Robitaille’s seventh of the season and fifth in five games.
Ricci gave the Warriors their first lead 2:10 later on the power play, as he had the whole net to put away his seventh of the year after a pretty feed from Barton in the slot.
Brown came right back at 14:16 again on the power play as Jordan Pietrus found another loose puck in front of Braithwaite and hammered it home to even the score at two. The Brown Bears regained the lead with their third power play marker of the game when Devin Timberlake, who was parked right in front of Braithwaite, tipped in a pass from Ryan Garbutt at 6:17 of the third.
Ricci continued his stellar weekend tying the score with 7:29 to play taking a backhanded feed from Robitaille and burying it past Rosen to his left for the center’s second of the game and eighth of the season.
Making his sixth straight start in goal, Braithwaite stopped 26 shots for his fifth win of the season. After scoring twice on Friday night, Barton added three assists for a five-point weekend, while Ricci posted three points in each game this weekend, giving him six points of eight Merrimack goals.
The Warriors, who are 5-0-1 in non-conference play with one game to go, (9-11-2, 4-11-1 HEA) host Canisius College Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Lawler Arena.