AMHERST, Mass. - No. 7 University of Massachusetts hockey traded goals with Merrimack in the first and third periods as the teams skated to a 2-2 tie on Friday night at the Mullins Center. UMass is now 7-3-1 overall, 3-3-1 in Hockey East action, while the Warriors sit at 2-7-2 overall and 1-3-2 in league play.
"I thought Merrimack came ready to play tonight," said UMass head coach Greg Carvel. "I'm not so sure we were ready to play at the right level, a very inconsistent effort and execution for us throughout the game. Once again, our power play had a chance to probably make that a victory and turns out that Merrimack's power play found a way to tie the game. I'm not really happy about our game tonight and we'll have to be a lot better tomorrow night playing in their barn."
Merrimack struck first at the 5:15 mark of the opening period with Hugo Esselin stuffing home a loose puck in front of netminder Filip Lindberg from Jordan Seyfert and Jacob Modry to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.
Just 12 seconds later, though, junior Mitchell Chaffee answered at the other end to knot things up at 1-1, potting his 10th of the season from classmate Oliver Chau in front and sophomore Colin Felix at the right point.
With the teams still deadlocked at 1-1 midway through the third, sophomore Bobby Trivigno fired a puck up the wall out of the UMass end, sending sophomore Marc Del Gaizo and freshman Matthew Kessel off to the races. Kessel finished off the feed from Del Gaizo on the rush at 11:48 for his fourth of the season to put the Minutemen up, 2-1.
With 2:30 remaining in regulation, however, junior Philip Lagunov took a cross checking penalty that gave the Warriors a late power play opportunity. Merrimack capitalized on the chance with Liam Dennison ripping in the game-tying goal from the high slot after receiving the puck from Mac Welsher and Sami Tavernier at 17:54 to force the extra stanza.
It appeared as if UMass had managed to counter with a game winner from Trivigno in the opening minute of the overtime period, but following a short review the goal was called back.
The Minutemen finished the night with a 28-26 edge in shots and were 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Warriors went 1-for-4 with the man advantage.Lindberg totaled 24 saves in net for UMass and Troy Kobryn had 26 stops for Merrimack.
The two teams will be back in action tomorrow night, November 23, with the second half of the home-and-home series slated for 7 p.m. in North Andover, Massachusetts.