NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The Merrimack College men's ice hockey team tied its season-high with a five-goal outing to post a 5-2 victory against visiting Connecticut on Friday night at Lawler Rink. The win was the third straight for the Warriors, extending a season-high three-game unbeaten streak.
The hosts built themselves a 4-0 lead thanks to tallies from four different goal-scorers before the Huskies made it a two-goal game with less than nine minutes. But Merrimack answered with one last goal off the stick of rookie August von Ungern-Sternberg to seal the win.
Score: Merrimack 5, Connecticut 2
Records: Merrimack (7-15-1, 4-9-0 HEA) | Connecticut (7-13-1, 2-10-1 HEA)
Location: Lawler Rink | North Andover, Mass.
Game Duration: 2:13
How It Happened
= Merrimack took the lead near the halfway point of the first on freshman Chase Gresock's sixth goal of the season. The scoring sequence was comprised of the entirety of his line, however, as senior Derek Petti banked it up to junior Sami Tavernier in the neutral zone to gain the blue line. Tavernier then weaved a pass across to a wide-open Gresock, who roofed a wrister home from the far dot.
- UConn would get the game's first power play with about six minutes left in the opening period but came away empty-handed. The Warriors made that missed chance hurt when they scored with only 42 seconds left, as freshman Logan Drevitch lit the lamp for the third time on the season off a centering feed from junior Patrick Kramer. Junior Johnathan Kovacevic started the play by skating in from the right point into the slot, drawing two defenders before dishing to Kramer in the circle. His return feed found Drevitch crashing at the back post to make it 2-0 after 20 minutes.
- The hosts didn't slow down as the second period started; it took just over three minutes to make it a 3-0 Merrimack lead with the Gresock-Petti-Tavernier line joining forces again. Petti won a battle along the boards in the neutral zone up to Tavernier at the blue line. He sent a no-look backhand pass to Gresock in the slot to create a 2-on-1 with Petti. The rookie would tap pass back to the senior, who beat UConn goalie Adam Huska over the blocker from the bottom of the circle.
- Merrimack got its first power play of the game early on in the third but the man advantage was nullified after a penalty against the hosts. But the Warriors promptly scored a 4-on-4 tally less than 20 seconds later with senior Michael Babcock sneaking a shot in from the goal line off a feed from junior Tyler Irvine.
- The Huskies would make it a game after converting on the power play at the 2:59 mark of the third before tallying an even strength strike with less than nine minutes to go, but von Ungern-Sternberg brought the home crowd to its feed with as electrifying as a goal as he could have drawn up for the first of his career. Irvine batted a clearing attempt from sophomore Dominic Dockery out of mid-air to clear the puck to the neutral zone, and von Ungern-Sternberg got behind the defense and dragged to the back post before roofing one over Huska's glove.
Notes & Numbers
- After going eight straight games with two or fewer goals scored, the Warriors made it back-to-back games with three-plus goals. The five goals tied their season high from Nov. 17 at Providence.
- Merrimack also had five different goal-scorers for the second time this season; that sequence also occurred in that Nov. 17 Providence game.
- Gresock tied his season-high three-game scoring streak after posting another multi-point outing with a goal and an assist. He now has six points (3g, 3a) in his last three games. He is now up to 15 points on the season (6g, 9a).
- The Warriors blocked 13 shots, making it the five straight game with a double-digit block total.
- Senior Craig Pantano improved to 6-10-1 after a 26-save outing while Huska had 22 stops for the visitors.
- Merrimack extended its penalty kill streak to 13 straight - a new season-high - before the Huskies scored on their final power play of the night.
- Merrimack improved to 27-3-5 all-time against UConn and is now unbeaten in its last seven games against the Huskies (3-0-4). The Warriors have now won three straight dating back to last season against UConn.
- Goaltenders: Craig Pantano (26 saves, 6-10-1) // Adam Huska (22 saves, 5-9-1)
- Power Plays: 0-1 | 1-3
- Shots on Goal: 11-6 // 9-9 // 7-13 - 27-28
- Faceoffs: 27 // 30
- Blocks: 13 // 9
Gresock | Petti | Tavernier
von Ungern-Sternberg | Babcock | Irvine
L. Drevitch | Kramer | Seyfert
Coomes | T. Drevitch | McBride
Dockery | McCardle
Cook | Carle
Heidt | Kovacevic
Pantano | Vogler | Halladay
The Warriors will stay at home to host the University of New Hampshire next Friday (Jan. 18) night in the lone game of the weekend. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.