FAIRBANKS, AK - The Merrimack hockey team was defeated on Saturday afternoon by the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves despite scoring three third period goals, falling 6-3. Two of the Seawolves goals came on the penalty kill including one that came on a five minute power play for the Warriors. Merrimack (1-3-0, 0-1-0 HEA) will return to action next weekend as they will host the Vermont Catamounts at Lawler Arena. The game on Friday is slated to start at 7:30 pm while the game on Saturday will start at 7:00 pm.
The Seawolves opened the scoring just 3:17 into the first period as Blake Thatchell deflected the shot from the point and it beat Rasmus Tirronen (Espoo, Finland) five hole.
Alaska Anchorage extended their lead to three about 14 minutes later as they scored two shorthanded goals. The first was scored by Alex Gellert and the second by Scott Allen as he took a Merrimack turnover and floated one past Tirronen.
The Warriors gave up three goals in a period for the second time in as many games despite outshooting the Seawolves 12-10.
In a back and forth second period, the Seawolves scored on a scrum in front of the net as Scott Allen picked up his second of the game, extending the lead to four. Merrimack outshot the Seawolves once again by a margin of 10-5 in the second period.
Merrimack finally broke through with a goal on the power play just over two minutes into the final period as John Heffernan (Scituate, Mass.) beat the Anchorage goalie on the glove side from a sharp angle. Heffernan's first goal of the season was assisted by Justin Hussar (Lancaster, NY) and Dan Kolomatis (Basking Ridge, NJ).
Anchorage wasted no time regaining their four goal advantage as Thatchell took an errant Merrimack pass and went in all alone on Tirronen and scored.
Just over a minute later the Seawolves were awarded a penalty shot but Tirronen stood tall and kept the score 5-1 in favor of Anchorage.
Mike Collins (Boston, Mass.) found the back of the net for the second straight game as he found himself free in the slot and beat Rob Grunderson five hole, making the score 5-2 in favor of Anchorage. Josh Myers (Colorado Springs, CO) picked up the assist on Collins' goal for the second straight night and Jordan Heywood (Regina, SK) picked up the other assist.
Quinn Sproule scored for the Seawolves with 4:28 remaining in the third period to make the score 6-2 but Kolomatis responded quickly with his second career goal just over a minute later. Ben Bahe (Stillwater, MN) picked up his first career assist in the process and Connor Toomey (Billerica, Mass.) also got credit for an assist.
The Warriors went 1-5 on the power play, scoring their second power play goal in four games and the Seawolves went 1-3.
Tirronen finished the game with 18 saves while Grunderson finished with 27 saves for his first win of the season.