NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The cardiac Merrimack College men's hockey team fought to come back a pair of times en route to a 5-5 tie against Vermont Friday night at Lawler Rink.
The Warriors fell behind 4-1 midway through the second period, before they came back in that same frame to even the score. The Catamounts took a 5-4 lead early in the third stanza, but a late Patrick Holway goal helped Merrimack earn an important league point.
Score: Merrimack 5, Vermont 5 (OT)
Records: Merrimack (5-16-3, 3-8-3 HEAM) | Vermont (3-15-4, 0-11-2 HEAM)
Game Duration: 2:42
How It Happened
- The visitors from Burlington were on the hunt for their first Hockey East win in the game's opening seven minutes, as they struck twice to stake themselves to a 2-0 lead.
- Merrimack started the comeback just four minutes later on what became a milestone tally. Liam Walsh entered the attacking end from the left point, then left a drop pass for Regan Kimens. The freshman forward fired a pass back to Walsh, who tipped it towards the far end of the cage, where Ryan Nolan was waiting. The fellow rookie knocked it home for his first collegiate goal to get the Warriors within one.
- Vermont got momentum back in the second period when it scored just under a minute into the frame, then brought the lead to three a dozen minutes later.
- After the Catamounts' fourth goal, an avalanche of momentum swung the other direction. Just a couple minutes after the Vermont tally, Logan Drevitch stomped into the offensive end at the far point. He shuffled back a pass for Chase Gresock and headed towards the net. Gresock waited, then saucered a feed to Zach Uens at center point, who blasted home his third on the year to get the Warriors within two.
- Merrimack received a power play a couple minutes later and did not squander the chance. After Uens passed to a streaking Tyler Irvine through the neutral zone, the senior fed classmate Sami Tavernier in the offensive end. Tavernier slalomed around the net, then returned a feed to Irvine, who one-timed a blast into the back of the net for his team-leading tenth on the campaign.
- The Warriors completed the rapid comeback less than two minutes later to put Lawler into a frenzy. While in the attacking end, Tavernier circled around the faceoff circles and sent a shot on goal that was originally stopped. The loose puck fell to the right side of Catamount goalie Stefanos Lekkas, where Ben Brar found it and deposited it home to tie the game.
- Vermont continued its strong early period play in the third when William Lemay found the back of the net just over three minutes in.
- Merrimack scrambled for the equalizer, but could not find it for the next 14 minutes. Then, with the teams skating at 4-on-4, the Warriors completed their second comeback of the night. Gresock worked a puck free to Holway near the offensive blue line. Holway tried to cut towards the net, but it dribbled off his stick to Zach Vinnell. The freshman had space and waited for Holway to free up next to the goal post, where he received a return feed from Vinnell to even the score once again.
- The game needed overtime, where the Warriors outshot Vermont 7-1, but couldn't find the game-winner.
Notes & Numbers
- Kimens extended his career-long point streak to four games thanks to his first period assist.
- Tavernier had his second straight two-point game and now has six points in his last four outings.
- The Warriors fired a season-high 41 shots on goal.
- Troy Kobryn made the start in net and was relieved after he made 10 saves on 13 shots. Jere Huhtamaa entered the game and kicked out 13 of the 15 shots he saw to earn the tie.
- Gresock and Logan Drevitch both tied for a game-high with a +2 rating.
- Griff Jeszka had a game-high eight shots on goal, which was also a career high.
The teams complete the weekend set Saturday evening at Lawler. Puck drop is set for 7 pm.