NORTH ANDOVER, MA - Behind a sellout crowd of 2,772 fans, Joe Cucci (Melrose Park, IL) and Carter Madsen (Okotoks, AB) each had two points while Joe Cannata (Wakefield, MA) stopped 31 shots as Merrimack defeated #2 and the defending National Champion Boston College 4-2 at Lawler Arena.
Merrimack (2-1-2, 1-1-1 HEA) will host the Under-20 Sweden Team in an exhibition game Tuesday at 12 p.m. before visiting Providence College Friday at 7 p.m. Boston College (4-1-1, 2-1-0 HEA) hosts UMass Lowell Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Conte Forum.
Improving to 17-5-2 at home in the last 24 games, the win gives the Warriors two straight home victories against BC after going winless in the previous 10 meetings in North Andover.
In front of the first sellout crowd in the renovated Lawler Rink and the third in the last two seasons, Jesse Todd (Camrose, AB) opened the scoring on the power play at 4:14, putting home a rebound off a Madsen shot past Parker Milner to give the hosts the early 1-0 lead.
After Brian Gibbons evened the score with his fourth of the year on the power play, Shawn Bates (Fort Saskatchewan, AB) notched his second collegiate goal at 15:01, knocking in a loose puck in front of Milner. Kyle Bigos (Upland, CA) started the play, working the puck up the boards to Chris Barton (Calgary, AB), who beat his defender and backhanded a shot on goal that Milner stopped, but Bates found the rebound and knocked it in to give Merrimack the 2-1 lead through one period.
Cucci made it 3-1 just five seconds into Merrimack's first power play of the second with his second of the year. The senior center won the draw right to Stephane Da Costa (Paris, France), who fired it towards the net. His shot was blocked but went right to Cucci, who buried it for his second point of the night.
Cam Atkinson tallied his second goal and fourth point of the weekend just 2:48 into the third to cut the lead to one at 3-2, but Ryan Flanigan (Rochester, NY) responded, knocking in a rebound off a Madsen shot for his second goal in as many nights, pushing Merrimack's lead back to two.
From there, Cannata and the defense took over as the junior stopped 15 shots in the third period. He concluded a stellar weekend with 70 saves on 75 shots.
Merrimack's power play finished 2-for-6 on the night, while its penalty kill was successful in five of six opportunities.
Milner finished with 28 saves, including a breakaway stop on Todd late in the third period.