NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Freshman defenseman Zach Uens pounced on a loose puck in the slot with less than five minutes remaining in the third period, scoring a power play goal that sent Friday night's Hockey East opener against the University of New Hampshire at Lawler Rink to overtime. The visiting Wildcats prevailed, however, scoring 27 seconds into the extra session to emerge victorious.
The Warriors fell to 1-5-0 on the season (0-1-0 HEAM) while the Wildcats improved to 2-1-1 (1-0-0 HEAM). Merrimack returns to Lawler Ice one week from tonight, facing UConn for a 7 p.m. puck drop on campus.
Score (OT): UNH 3, Merrimack 2
Records: Merrimack (1-5-0, 0-1-0 HEAM) | UNH (2-1-1,1-0-0 HEAM)
Location: Lawler Rink | North Andover, Mass.
Game Duration: 2:15
How It Happened
- The first period saw each team earn power plays in the first half of the period, but neither opportunity resulted in a goal. As the clock neared six minutes to go in the period, UNH's Kohei Sato broke in on a partial breakaway to go ahead, 1-0. Freshman Jere Huhtamaa made five stops in the first period
- Five minutes into the second, Merrimack found its answer. Freshman Joey Cassetti kept a puck in at the right point, and chipped it behind the Warriors' net. Sophomore Jordan Seyfert collected possession, and fed freshman Declan Carlile at the left point. The rookie walked the puck into the slot, and wristed a seeing-eye shot through traffic to tie the game
- Merrimack continued to pressure, in particular late in the second frame. The Warriors put four shot attempts towards UNH's net late in the period, while Cassetti hit the post on a chance to go ahead entering the third
- The Wildcat scored in the third on the man-advantage to open a 2-1 lead. Merrimack's penalty kill stepped up midway through the period, killing off a pair of slashing calls to keep the deficit at one. The Warriors garnered a power play of their own and capitalized, with Uens gliding into the slot and scoring up high to tie the game
- In overtime, however, the Wildcats came out on top, tallying the game-winner off a rebound to claim the victory
Notes & Numbers
- Huhtamaa recorded his best effort of the season, finishing with a career-best 20 saves. The Finnish netminder saw 15 of those 20 stops come in the final two period.
- Both Huhtamaa and classmate Troy Kobryn have started three games apiece through six contests for Merrimack
- Carlile posted his second multi-point game of the season, leading Merrimack in that category. He leads the team in assists (4) and points (5)
- Uens became the fourth Warriors with two goals through six games, and is the first defenseman on the team to pot multiple tallies
- Merrimack fell to 25-79-10 all-time against UNH with the loss
The Warriors play UConn twice in a span of three days next weekend, hosting the Huskies at Lawler Rink for another 7 p.m. puck drop before heading down to Hartford, Conn. on Sunday to play UConn at the XL Center.