NORTH ANDOVER, MA - The Merrimack hockey team rattled off 25 shots on goal in the final two periods, but its late rally came up just short in a 2-1 loss to fourth-ranked Northeastern University Saturday night at Lawler Arena.
Trailing 2-0 in the third, Chris Barton redirected a Rob Ricci shot past Brad Thiessen to cut the lead to 2-1. Jesse Todd earned the other assist on Barton's fifth of the year.
But Merrimack's rally ended there, as Thiessen stopped 30 saves including 13 in the third period for the win. The Warriors had a four-on-three power play late in the third for 1:45 but could not manage the tying goal.
Northeastern scored first at 14:52 of the first when Randy Guzior, with both teams skating four aside, knocked in a loose puck in front of goaltender Andrew Braithwaite into the net for his first of the season. Rob Rassey and Mike Hewkin, who took the original shot which Braithwaite stopped, picked up the assists.
The Huskies doubled their lead on the power play in the second as Rassey slammed home a rebound off the shot of Louis Liotti for his fourth of the year at 13:40. Liotti's slapper from the blue line was stopped by Braithwaite, but the puck went right to Rassey who had the net wide open to the left of Braithwaite for the goal.
Merrimack got its chances against Thiessen, who stopped 31 shots Friday night against the Warriors, in the second period. Thiessen stopped all 11 shots he faced in the second and got some help from the post off a Barton redirect with Merrimack on the power play.
Braithwaite stopped 31 saves, including 24 in the first two periods. A day after going 1-for-4 on the power play with 11 shots, Merrimack's power play was 0-for-4 Saturday with seven shots.
Merrimack (5-10-3, 2-9-2 HEA) hosts #2 Boston University Friday night at 7 p.m.