Last Minute Goal Lifts Merrimack Over UMass Hockey In Overtime, 3-2
March 6, 2009
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Karl Stollery's goal with 24.8 seconds remaining in overtime lifted Merrimack over the UMass Minutemen Friday night at Lawler Arena, 3-2. The Minutemen had a 2-1 late in the third period until Jesse Todd tied the score with 4:17 left in regulation. James Marcou and T.J. Syner each had goals for the Minutemen, while Paul Dainton made 28 saves in goal for the Minutemen (14-18-4, 9-14-3 HEA). Joe Cannata got the start in goal for the Warriors (9-20-4, 4-18-3 HEA), making 30 saves. Both teams will faceoff again tomorrow night at the Mullins Center for Senior Night. Gametime is scheduled for 7 PM.
The Minutemen outshot Merrimack 32-31 for the game, and went 1-for-5 on the power play. The Warriors went 1-for-3 on the man advantage. UMass held a slight edge in faceoffs, winning 46-of-88 draws.
Although shots were even at seven during the first period, the Minutemen carried the play for the majority of the opening frame. UMass was awarded a five-on-three power play with 1:03 to play in the stanza, and the Minutemen capitalized on their man advantage.
With 7.5 seconds to play in the period, Marcou netted his 13th goal of the season off a pass from Justin Braun. The Warriors attempted to clear the puck out of their defensive zone, but Matt Irwin dove to keep the puck in the Merrimack end. Irwin dished a pass to Braun who then fired a cross-ice pass to Marcou at the left faceoff dot. Marcou one-timed the puck past Cannata for the score.
UMass had some other scoring chances during the first period, the best coming when Brian Keane rifled a shot off the crossbar seven minutes into the period, but the Warriors controlled the rebound to squander the scoring opportunity.
The Warriors outshot UMass 14-11 during the second period, and netted the equalizer on Rob Ricci's 11th goal of the season. While the Minutemen were on the power play, Cory Quirk tried to saucer a pass to Braun at the point, but the puck caught an edge and trickled into the neutral zone. Elliot Sheen picked up the loose puck and went in two-on-one. Sheen then sent a pass over to Ricci who wristed a shot over Dainton's glove for the goal with seven minutes left in the period. The goal was only Merrimack's second shorthanded tally of the season and first since December.
UMass had another power play late in the period, and the Minutemen displayed good puck movement and generated some scoring chances on goal. But Cannata and the Warrior penalty killing squad prevented the Minutemen from retaking the lead.
Both teams had their chances throughout the third period, but neither team managed to bury their opponent. The Minutemen took a 2-1 lead midway through the frame when Syner notched his seventh goal of the season. Casey Wellman carried the puck around the net and threw a shot on goal from the corner. Cannata made the initial save, but Syner gathered the loose rebound and patiently made Cannata commit before backhanding the puck over the netminder's pads.
Merrimack battled back to tie the game at two with just over four minutes remaining in regulation on Todd's seventh goal of the year. Chris Barton carried the puck up the boards before throwing a wraparound pass to Todd all alone in the slot. The pass caught Dainton out of position, and Todd had an easy tap in goal.
The Minutemen maintained puck possession during the first few minutes of the overtime period, but Merrimack began to get some chances of its own as the extra frame wore on. The Warriors were awarded a power play with 34.9 second left in overtime, and they wasted no time in netting the game winner. On the ensuing faceoff, Joe Cucci held the puck at the blueline and fed a pass to Stollery, who one-timed the puck over Dainton's glove.