|1st||9:41||BC||1-0||EV||Casey Fitzgerald (3)||Aapeli Räsänen/3, Jesper Mattila/1|
|1st||14:47||MER||1-1||EV||Sami Tavernier (3)||Brett Seney/3, Johnathan Kovacevic/5|
|1st||15:50||BC||2-1||EV GW||Christopher Grando (3)||Logan Hutsko/4, Aapeli Räsänen/4|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Boston College (3-5-1)||0/3||9/29||0|
|Boston College Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Joseph Woll (W, 3-4-1)||59:46||1||9||9||8||26|
|Craig Pantano (L, 1-2-0)||58:22||2||7||15||11||33|
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - After both teams combined for three goals in the first period, the score went unchanged the rest of the way, as visiting Boston College held on to edge the Merrimack College men's ice hockey team, 2-1, completing a Hockey East weekend series sweep at Lawler Rink.
Score: Boston College 2, Merrimack 1
Records: Merrimack (1-6-2, 1-3-0 HEA) | #RV/-- Boston College (3-5-1, 3-1-0 HEA)
Location: Lawler Rink | North Andover, Mass.
Game Duration: 2:15
After last night's game saw four goals combined, Merrimack and Boston College combined for three in the first period on Saturday, as the Eagles took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. The visitors got on the board midway through the period before the Warriors drew even five minutes later, but a quick response by BC gave the visitors a one-goal edge after 20 minutes.
Penalties made the early portion of the second period interesting, as BC saw a 5-on-4 power play turn into a 4-on-3 penalty kill situation after back-to-back infractions. Merrimack was unable to convert on an eventual 5-on-3 advantage that lasted nearly 90 seconds, while the Eagles also missed out on a penalty shot opportunity, as the score went unchanged heading to the final frame.
A back-and-forth third period saw the Eagles outshoot the hosts by a slim 11-9 margin and each side had a power play opportunity over the course of the stanza, but the game entered the home stretch with Merrimack still in search of an equalizer. With junior Craig Pantano (Bridgewater, Mass.) on the bench for the extra attacker, Merrimack made one last frenetic push and nearly tied it, but BC and goaltender Joseph Woll would hold on for the sweep.
Boston College grabbed the lead 9:41 into the first period on an odd bounce off the stick of Casey Fitzgerald. After the Eagles won a faceoff, Aapeli Rasanen slotted a diagonal pass to the right point, where Fitzgerald fired a shot wide that took an odd carom off the boards and snuck by Pantano for the former's third marker of the year.
Sophomore Sami Tavernier (Morzine, France) drew the Warriors even at 14:47 with his third tally of the season. With the Warriors cycling during an extended shift in the offensive zone, senior Brett Seney (London, Ontario) set the score up with a pass from the bottom of the far circle through the crease area to a wide-open Tavernier at the bottom of the left circle, who buried it into a practically open net.
BC took the lead for good on a goal from Chris Grando just over a minute later. The Eagles gained the zone 3-on-2 with Aapeli Rasanen leading the charge. Rasanen dished to Logan Hutsko who quickly kept the puck moving up to Grando, who finished off the rush with a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle that beat Pantano glove side.
Notes and Notables
- Sophomore Johnathan Kovacevic (Grimsby, Ontario) now has a three-game point streak, the longest by any Warrior this season.
- After winning the season series against Boston College for just the second time since joining Hockey East last year, Merrimack lost both games against the Eagles in dropping its first Hockey East series of the season.
- One night after stopping 31 shots, Pantano, who was starting for the third straight game, set a new career-high with 33 saves.
- Merrimack has now been held to two goals or fewer in seven of nine games this season and is winless (0-6-1) when scoring fewer than three goals.
- After a 3-3-1 stretch against BC from Oct. 31, 2009 to Nov. 26, 2010, Merrimack has just two wins in its last 17 tries (2-12-3) against the Eagles.
- After allowing a power play game in seven straight games, the Warrior penalty kill finished the weekend a perfect 6-for-6, keeping the Eagles' power play at bay on both nights.
Merrimack takes a brief respite from league play when it hosts Bentley in a non-conference matchup next Friday in its lone game of the weekend. Puck drop from Lawler Rink is 7 p.m.