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BUFFALO, NY - The Merrimack hockey team battled the Canisius College Griffs to a 1-1 tie Sunday afternoon at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.
Merrimack scored early as Chris Barton notched his team-best third of the season taking feeds from Joe Cucci and Rob Ricci on the power play at 3:09 of the first period. The assist was Ricci's first of the season as the captain was in the lineup for his second game of the season after missing the first three with an injury.
After a scoreless second period, the Griffs evened the score early in the third after Carter Hudson ripped one past Joe Cannata on the power-play. The goal was the first Cannata surrendered in his first 101:09 as a Warrior, as he stopped the first 55 shots he faced.
The Warriors dominated play following Hudson's goal but point-blank shots from Francois Ouimet and Grant Farrell were gloved by goaltender Andrew Loewen with six minutes to play in regulation. After the Warriors failed on a late power-play, Cannata came up big as he stopped a three-on-two break with a sprawling block save. End-to-end action continued as Ouimet had two more scoring chances that were denied by Loewen. Ouimet led the Warriors with seven shots on goal.
With the Griffs on a power play for the final 42 seconds of overtime, Cannata stopped two shots to preserve the tie. Merrimack was outshot 5-0 in the extra frame.
Cannata turned aside 22 shots, giving him 66 saves on 67 shots in his first two collegiate games.
Loewen kept the Griffs in the game as he stopped 29 shots. The Warriors controlled the play for the majority of their two games at Niagara and Canisius this weekend, but they managed to just get one goal on 61 shots.
Merrimack (2-2-1, 0-1 HEA) begins a home-and-home series with the defending National Champion Boston College on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Conte Forum, with the teams moving to Lawler Arena on Friday at 7 p.m.