Joe Cannata made 34 saves in the tie

Senior goaltender Joe Cannata stopped 34 shots for Merrimack

Hamilton, N.Y. - The Merrimack hockey team skated to a 1-1 tie on Saturday night inside Starr Rink against the Colgate Raiders. The tie gives the Warriors a 3-0-1 mark against non-conference teams this year.

Merrimack (10-2-2, 7-2-1 HEA) returns home for a non-conference game on Saturday, December 17 at 4 p.m. against #10/9 Union in a game televised in HD by WBIN locally.

Brendan Ellis (Kelowna, BC) continued his solid offensive play as he recorded his second goal of the season early on for the Warriors. Ellis put the Warriors up 1-0 early on as he pounced on a rebound in front of the Colgate net after a Shawn Bates (Ft. Saskatchewan, AB) shot that was kicked in front of the net by Eric Mihalik. Bates took a beautiful feed from Ryan Flanigan (Rochester, NY) to get the initial shot for the Warriors. Bates picked up his fifth assist on the year and Flanigan tallied his seventh for Merrimack.

Rhett Bly (Regina, SK) almost put Merrimack up 2-0 late in the first period of action but he was robbed on a partial breakaway by the Colgate goaltender to keep the score 1-0, in favor of Merrimack. After Bly was stopped, the Raiders countered with a great scoring chance on Joe Cannata (Wakefield, Mass.) as Jeremy Price came in alone but was stopped by the senior.

Merrimack and Colgate were deadlocked in shots on goal after the first 20 minutes of play, 10-10 after only recording one shot through the first five minutes of action.

Cannata kept the score knotted at one early in the second period as the Warriors took back-to-back penalties. Cannata made a total of five saves on the penalty kill including a great save on Austin Smith from point blank range.

The Raiders got on the board at 12:55 as Robbie Bourdon took a Smith pass to the left of Cannata and buried his sixth goal of the season. Smith and Thomas Larkin picked up the assists on the Colgate goal.

Cannata came up with a huge shoulder save on Smith as the buzzer rang to end the second period. The Warriors were outshot 12-4 in the second period after taking three penalties over a 10 minute span.

The Warriors went on the power play early in the final frame as Colgate took a penalty after the whistle with 19:40 remaining. Flanigan almost gave Merrimack the lead after he tipped a Jordan Heywood (Regina, SK) shot from the point, straight into the goal post. Seconds later Mihalik kept the score tied at one as he controlled a Mike Collins (Boston, Mass.) shot from inside the right circle.

With 5:32 remaining in the third period Colgate took a penalty to give the Warriors the chance to break the tie. Merrimack was unable to produce a shot with the extra man as the Colgate penalty kill unit did a great job keeping the puck out of scoring areas. Jeff Velleca (Waterbury, CT) almost gave the Warriors the win with 28 seconds to go but he was robbed by the left pad of the goalie, sending the game into overtime.

Merrimack went back on the power play early in the overtime but yet again they were unable to get the game winner as Collins was rejected by Mihalik. Colgate countered with a three on one attack in which Colgate captain Corbin McPherson was robbed by Cannata from point blank range to preserve the 1-1 tie for the Warriors.

Cannata finished with 34 stops, while Mihalik made 25 in the tie.

Colgate went 0-for-4 on the man advantage, while Merrimack was 0-for-5.