NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The Merrimack College men's ice hockey team battled the College of Holy Cross to a 2-2 draw in a Friday matinée non-conference matchup at Lawler Rink.
Junior Tyler Irvine netted his team-leading fifth goal of the season while freshman Christian Simeone lit the lamp for the first time in his career before the Crusaders rallied to tie the game late in the second. That score went unchanged the rest of the way, as Merrimack earned its first tie of the season.
Score: Merrimack 2, Holy Cross 2 (F/OT)
Records: Merrimack (4-9-1, 2-5-0 HEA) | Holy Cross (1-7-2, 1-3-1 AHA)
Location: Lawler Rink | North Andover, Mass.
Game Duration: 2:25
How It Happened
- Merrimack scored the only goal of a back-and-forth opening frame, as Irvine lit the lamp about halfway through the frame to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. Neither side converted on the three combined power plays in the period (2-1 Merrimack) while Holy Cross held a one-goal edge in shots.
- Simeone's first collegiate goal doubled the Warrior lead (2-0) just under the seven-minute mark of the second, but Holy Cross began its comeback from there. The Crusaders first converted a power play with under nine minutes left, and then tied it in the closing seconds of the period to level the ledger at 2-all heading to the final frame.
- Merrimack nearly tripled Holy Cross in shots on goal in the third period, outshooting the Crusaders by a 15-6 margin but could not net the go-ahead marker in regulation, prompting overtime for just the second time this season. Holy Cross wound up with the only shot on goal in the extra frame, as the final horn sounded with the score level at 2-2.
Goal #1 (MC, 1-0): Irvine's relentlessness helped him score his team-leading fifth goal of the year at 13:55 of the first. After a shot by rookie Chase Gresock caromed off the end boards the puck wound up behind the net, where Irvine grabbed it and took it to the net. He eventually stuffed it past the outstretched skates of Holy Cross goaltender Erik Gordon.
Goal #2 (MC, 2-0): Simeone gave Merrimack a 2-0 lead at 6:50 of the second period, netting his first collegiate goal in the process. After Tyler Drevitch carried the puck into the zone he left it for freshman Jordan Seyfert who carried it down the right wing. Simeone got a jump on the defense and crashed hard to the net to tap in a perfect goal line feed from Seyfert.
Goal #3 (HC, 2-1): Michael Laffin got Holy Cross within a goal at 11:09 with the Crusaders on the power play. He fired home a one-timer from the slot, converting a feed from behind the net from Mitch Collett.
Goal #4 (HC, 2-2): Johnny Coughlin tied the game with only eight seconds left in the middle stanza on the strength of his second tally of the season. Collett factored into the play once again, forcing a turnover against the wall down low where it found the stick of Coughlin, who skated toward the edge of the circle in the slot and roofed a shot to tie it.
- Six different Warriors recorded a point on Friday night, while junior Johnathan Kovacevic led all players with four shots on goal.
- Senior Michael Babcock led Merrimack with 13 faceoff wins on 23 attempts.
- Drevitch and classmate Patrick Kramer led Merrimack with two blocked shots.
- Senior Craig Pantano stopped 22 shots in net.
Notes & Numbers
- Merrimack saw its all-time record against Holy Cross move to 30-7-3. The Warriors are now 15-1-2 against the Crusaders dating back to 1985.
- Merrimack is now 4-4-1 in games after losses this year. They have not lost more than two straight games and are 3-0-1 in games played after two straight losses.
- Merrimack is tied for first in the country in one-goal games played, having done so eight times.
- Goaltenders: Craig Pantano (22 saves, 4-7-1) // Erik Gordon (28 saves, 0-5-2)
- Power Plays: 0-3 | 1-3
- Shots on Goal: 9-10 // 6-7 // 15-6 //0-1 - 30-24
- Faceoffs: 32 // 36
- Blocks: 7 // 16
Gresock | Babcock | Irvine
L. Drevitch | Kramer | Tavernier
Simeone | T. Drevitch | Seyfert
Coomes | Bales | DeStefani
Carle | Kovacevic
Dockery | Lööf
Cook | McArdle
Pantano | Vogler | Halladay
Merrimack will close November with a single game against Northeastern next Friday (Nov. 30) at Matthews Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.