NORTH ANDOVER, MA - Joe Cannata stopped 29 shots as #7 Merrimack remained unbeaten, tying Northeastern 1-1 in front of the ninth straight sellout crowd at Lawler Arena Friday night.
Merrimack (6-0-1, 4-0-1 HEA) and Northeastern (1-4-1, 1-4-1 HEA) will conclude their season series Saturday at Matthews Arena at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on 1400 AM and online at merrimackathletics.com.
Merrimack outshot the Huskies 10-8 in the first, but they were unable to take advantage of four power plays, settling for a scoreless opening period.
After failing to convert on a five-minute power play, Rhett Bly got the Warriors on the board executing a perfect three-on-two with Jesse Todd and Ryan Flanigan at 14:20 of the second. Bly took a feed from Todd and broke to the net, beating Chris Rawlings between the legs for his first of the season. The Warriors outshot the visitors 15-6 in the second, taking advantage of seven minutes of power play time.
But Justin Daniels tied it just 57 seconds into the third, putting a home rebound in front of Cannata for his fifth of the season, with Steve Quailer and Vinny Saponari getting the assists. Cannata kept the Warriors in it for the remainder of regulation, making 14 saves, as the Huskies controlled the third outshooting Merrimack 15-10. Cannata made an early third period save on Mike McLaughlin and denied Cody Ferriero's wrister with just 1:12 to play.
Northeastern had the lone overtime shot, as Cannata stopped a Ferriero slapper, while Elliott Sheen and Carter Madsen both had their shots blocked in the final minute.
Merrimack's power play went 0-for-7, struggling early on in the game. Its penalty kill, meanwhile, was a perfect 4-for-4 as the Warriors have allowed only eight goals in seven games this season.
Rawlings matched Cannata shot for shot, turning aside34 stops, 25 in the first two periods. Flanigan's second-period assist extended the senior's point streak to seven games on the season and 14 dating back to last year.
With the tie, Merrimack improved to 29-5-3 at Lawler Arena since the beginning of the 2009-10 campaign. Northeastern is actually 2-2-1 at Lawler in that span.