NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The Merrimack College men's hockey team came minutes away from a monumental upset, but #7/7 UMass came back for a 3-2 win Saturday night at Lawler Rink.
The Warriors claimed a 2-0 lead midway through the second period, but the reigning NCAA runner-up Minutemen crept their way back into the game and eventually scored late to claim a 3-2 win.
Score: #7/7 UMass 3, Merrimack 2
Records: Merrimack (2-8-2, 1-4-2 HEAM) | #7/7 UMass (8-3-1, 4-3-1 HEAM)
Game Duration: 2:19
How It Happened
- A night after the sides skated to a 2-2 tie, both teams tended to their defensive ends and hit the first intermission scoreless.
- After a Merrimack penalty late in the first period put the Warriors on the penalty kill, they were able to turn it around with the man down. Zach Uens hit Sami Tavernier with long pass to exit the defensive end, then the senior broke in on a 2-on-1 with classmate Tyler Irvine. Tavernier sold a shot attempt to starting goalie Filip Lindberg and slid a pass to Irvine for an easy one-timed finish.
- The home side continued to build momentum when it was awarded a 5-on-3 power play after Bobby Kaiser took a hitting from behind minor, followed 13 seconds later by an elbowing game misconduct from Matthew Kessel. With two skaters on the ice, it didn't take long for the power play unit to convert. Logan Drevitch started the play with a feed to Tavernier in the offensive end. Tavernier quickly played it to Mac Welsher, who had worked his way past the defense. He sashayed in front of Lindberg and squeezed a shot through his legs to make it 2-0. The goal also ended Lindberg's night, as he was pulled in favor of Matt Murray.
- The Minutemen bench reacted well to the goaltending change. Cal Kiefiuk tipped in a shot past Troy Kobryn, who made his second straight start, with just under five minutes to play in the second period to close the scoring through 40 minutes.
- The Warriors played mainly in their defensive end for the first 15 minutes of the final period with the hopes of closing down what would have been their first ranked win since January of this year. The wall finally broke with under five minutes to play when Ty Farmer put one home to tie the game.
- In the final minute of play, UMass completed the comeback on Kiefluk's second goal of the night to finish off a 3-2 win.
Notes & Numbers
- The shorthanded goal was the first for Merrimack in 31 games. They had not scored down a skater since Nov. 17, 2018 when Logan Drevitch did it against Providence.
- Tavernier finished the weekend with three points on three assists.
- Merrimack's penalty kill unit is now a perfect 11-for-11 dating back to the third period against Northeastern Nov. 9.
The Warriors return to the Lawler Rink for a post-Thanksgiving showdown with Penn State Nov. 29. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.