NORTH ANDOVER, MA. – Rob Ricci (Brampton, Ontario) scored a third period power-play goal to give the Merrimack Warriors the 2-1 victory and their first-ever weekend sweep of the University of Maine Saturday night at Lawler Arena.
The Warriors, who entered the weekend 0-15-2 against Maine dating back to 2002, picked up their first Hockey East weekend sweep of an opponent for the first time since sweeping Northeastern on February 18th and 19th of 2000.
With the score deadlocked at one, Black Bear goaltender Ben Bishop turned the puck over, giving it right to Ricci, who fired it quickly past Bishop who was out of position for the unassisted power-play tally at 9:59 of the third.
Ricci, who was 24-for-37 on draws, leads the Warriors with 12 points in 11 games.
The Warrior defense held Maine from there, blocking eight third-period shots and 17 overall for the victory. Pat Watson (Waltham, MA.) stopped 22 shots completing a weekend in which he went 2-0 and stopped 53 of 54 shots he faced.
Matt Jones (Kentwood, MI) got Merrimack on the board first with his second goal in as many nights and team-leading seventh of the season, as he gathered a loose puck to the right of Bishop and put it home at 7:19 of the first. Pat Bowen (Marshfield, MA), who threw the puck at the net, picked up one assist with Ricci getting the other.
Matt Duffy responded two minutes later right off a clean faceoff win by Glenn Belmore to tie the game at one.
In similar fashion to last night, Watson kept the Warriors in the game in the second, stopping nine shots, including three in the final minute of the period.
The Warriors (6-4-1, 3-4-1 HEA) will go for their third straight win against UMass Lowell Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Lawler Arena.