NORTH ANDOVER, MA - Despite being on the power play for the whole overtime period on Friday night, Merrimack and Harvard skated to a 2-2 tie in the Crimson's first ever trip to Lawler Arena. Mike Collins (Boston, Mass.) netted the game-tying goal in the second period for his eight of the season.
Merrimack (5-7-3, 4-4-1 HEA) will return to the ice tomorrow afternoon to take on the US Under-18 team in an exhibition matchup at 4 pm. Saturday's exhibition contest will also be the second annual Chic Kelly night and toy drive. $5 from every ticket sold will be donated to the Friends and Family of Chic Kelly. Tickets for tomorrow's exhibition game can be purchased online at www.merrimackathletics.com or at the Merrimack College box office, which will open at 10 am tomorrow.
The Crimson committed a five minute major penalty with seconds remaining in the third period to give the Warriors a power play for the whole overtime but Merrimack was not able to beat the Harvard goaltender on three shots on goal. The Warriors attempted 10 shots in overtime but could not beat Raphael Girard who finished the game with 36 saves.
After a back and forth first period that saw neither team get on the scoreboard, the second period was full of action with four total goals. The Crimson got on the board first after a long video replay declared that Tommy O'Regan's stick was not above the cross bar when he knocked it out of the air into the net.
30 seconds later Harvard extended their lead to two as Desmond Bergin beat Sam Marotta (Bridgewater, Mass.) on the glove side after a nice pass from O'Regan.
Rhett Bly (Regina, SK) found the back of the net just over three minutes later as he won the faceoff to himself in the Harvard zone and beat Raphael Girard over his glove for a short-handed goal. The Bly tally was his fourth on the year and marked the first short-handed goal for Merrimack since exactly one year ago today.
The Warriors leveled the score at two with 6:02 to play in the second as Collins blasted a slap shot past the Harvard goaltender. Collins' eight goal of the season was assisted by Jordan Heywood (Regina, SK) and Tom McCarthy (Maple Grove, MN).
For the game, Merrimack outshot the Crimson 38-24 including a second period in which they recorded 16 shots on goal.
Marotta finished off his night with 22 saves including eight saves in the first 20 minutes of action.
The Warriors were not able to score on their six power play opportunities despite recording nine shots on goal. The Crimson were limited to 0-1 on the power play with one shot on Marotta.
With the tie, Merrimack now is 2-0-1 against Harvard all-time. The tie for Harvard is their first loss of the season after tying a NCAA record 11 games last season.