NORTH ANDOVER, MA - The Merrimack hockey team received goals from Adam Ross and Rob Ricci but fell to the University of Maine 3-2 Sunday afternoon at Lawler Arena.
The Black Bears notched two goals, both on the power play in the first 2:59 to take an early 2-0 lead. Gustav Nyquist and Tanner House each scored off rebounds on the man advantage with Chris Hahn and Will O'Neill getting the assists on both first period tallies.
The Warriors cut the lead in half at 11:59 of the second as Ricci fired one past goaltender Scott Darling for his fifth of the season. Fraser Allan and Chris Barton got the assists as Ricci extended his goal-scoring streak to three games.
Merrimack controlled the play for stretches in the third, outshooting the Black Bears 10-3 in the final frame, but it was Brett Carriere who backhanded a shot through the legs of Joe Cannata at 13:39 of the third to extend the lead back to two.
With Cannata pulled for the extra attacker in the final minutes, Ross fired a shot past Darling to cut the lead back to one. Joe Cucci and Barton got the assists on Ross' first collegiate goal in 47 games. But that was as close as the Warriors would get as the Black Bears ran out the clock on a possible comeback attempt.
Darling stopped 27 shots as Merrimack outshot the Black Bears 27-20.
Merrimack (4-8-3, 2-7-2 HEA) is off until after Christmas and will take on Quinnipiac on December 29th at 4 p.m. at the UConn Hockey Classic in Storrs, Connecticut. Maine (8-5-1, 5-4-1 HEA) hosts Union next weekend for a pair of games beginning Friday night at Alfond Arena.