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Commissioners Club
Senior goalie Craig Pantano made 38 saves for the Warriors
Patano, Merrimack Blank Bemidji State, 1-0
Senior goalie Craig Pantano made 38 saves for the Warriors

BEMIDJI, Minn. - A night after allowing eight goals, the Merrimack College men's ice hockey team bounced back to earn a weekend series split against Bemidji State thanks primarily to the Herculean efforts of senior goaltender Craig Pantano, who posted his third shutout of the season on the strength of a career-high 38 saves to earn the Warriors a 1-0 win over the Beavers on Saturday at the Sanford Center.

The Basics

Score: Merrimack 1, Bemidji State 0
Records: Merrimack (4-7-0, 2-3-0 HEA) | Bemidji State (5-2-1, 3-1-0 WCHA)
Location: Sanford Center | Bemidji, Minn.
Game Duration: 2:25

How It Happened

- Merrimack weathered a first period surge by the hosts that saw Bemidji State outshoot the Warriors by 13 (17-4). Merrimack's penalty kill also was called upon on three occasions but was up to the task each time, as the game went scoreless after 20 minutes.

- After fending off another Bemidji power play early in the second, the Warriors finally broke through while skating 5-on-3, as junior Tyler Irvine broke the deadlock with his team-leading fourth goal of the year. Three straight Merrimack penalties threatened that lead, but the Warriors didn't blink and, despite being outshot by 15 (27-12), brought a one-goal lead into the final frame.

- Things didn't get any easier in the third, as Bemidji put together another double-digit shots total and had two more power play opportunities, but Pantano came through when his team needed him most, finishing with a career-high 38 saves to earn his third shutout of the season, tied for first among all goaltenders nationwide.

Scoring Summaries

- Goal #1 (MC, 1-0): Irvine punched through to break the deadlock 4:47 into the second period, scoring his team-leading fourth goal of the year while skating 5-on-3. Junior Sami Tavernier set up Irvinie for a one-timer in the left wing circle, while another junior, Johnathan Kovacevic, got the play started.


- Pantano had the first 30-plus save by a Merrimack goalie this year and topped his previous career-high of 36 saves that he posted on three different occasions.

- Irvine's goal was his team-high fourth of the season, as he finished the weekend with two tallies.

- Tavernier and Kovacevic both have scoring streaks as well after recording a point for the second straight night. Tavernier had two helpers on the weekend while Kovacevic finished with a goal and an assist.

Notes & Numbers

- Merrimack improved to 3-2-0 when being outshot this season and won its first game when being held under 20 shots. They were 2-2-0 in those situations last year.

- Merrimack evened the all-time ledger at 4-4-0 against Bemidji State.

- The Warriors played their seventh one-goal game of the season, improving to 3-4-0 in that category. They lead the nation in one-goal games played.

- Merrimack's penalty kill was a perfect 9-for-9 on the night, a new single-game high in opportunities for the opponent and successful kills.

- Goaltenders: Craig Pantano (38 saves, 4-5-0) // Zach Driscoll (16 saves, 6-2-0)

- Power Plays: 1-6 | 0-9

- Shots on Goal: 4-17 // 8-10 // 5-11 - 17-38

Merrimack Lineup

L. Drevitch | Babcock | Tavernier
Gresock | Kramer | Irvine
Simeone | T. Drevitch | McBride
Olsen | Bales | DeStefani

Dockery | Kovacevic
Cook | McArdle
Heidt | Carle

Pantano | Vogler | Halladay

Up Next

Merrimack returns to Hockey East play with a home-and-home series against Providence College starting next Friday at Lawler Rink, with puck drop set for 7 p.m.

Game Summary

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Game statistics
17 Shots 38
1 / 6 Power Plays 0 / 9
9 / 18 PIM 6 / 12
4-7-0 Records 5-2-1
Merrimack Bemidji State
Tyler Irvine (4)
2nd/4:47 PP GW
Merrimack Bemidji State
Craig Pantano
60:00, 38 Saves, 0 GA
(W, 4-5-0)
Zach Driscoll
58:43, 16 Saves, 1 GA
(L, 2-1-1)

Empty Net
1:17, 0 GA