NORTH ANDOVER, MA. - J.C. Robitaille (Des Ruisseaux, Quebec) scored the first two goals of the game, his first career multi-goal game, leading Merrimack College to a 4-1 victory over Army Sunday afternoon at Lawler Arena.
With the victory, the Warriors, who are 4-0-1 against non-conference teams this season, snap a six-game winless streak (0-5-1).
In his second career game, Joe Cucci (Melrose Park, IL) tallied his first goal and assist and was 10-for-15 on faceoffs.
Led by Robitaille, Merrimack scored three goals in the first period for the first time all season. Robitaille beat Josh Kassel at 6:01 of the first short side for his third of the year, assisted by Derek Pallardy (Chesterfield, MO) and Cucci. Robitaille doubled the score at 12:57 when he wristed a shot between Kasselís pads on the ice. John Jamieson (Billerica, MA) notched the assist on the goal, his first collegiate assist in his 11th career game.
Cucci then netted his first at 15:14 after taking a feed from Chris Barton (Calgary, Alberta) and beating Kassel high over his glove, ending the day for the junior netminder. After playing last night against Union, Kassel had five saves on just eight shots. His replacement, Joe Spracklen stopped all 14 shots he faced.
Owen Meyer ended Andrew Braithwaite's (Kingston, Ontario) shutout attempt at 15:32 of the second, as he took feeds from Bryce Hollweg and Zach McKelvie for his 12th of the season.
The Warriors showed why they have allowed the fewest goals in Hockey East in the third period as they limited the Black Knights to just three shots on goal while blocking five shots. Francois Ouimet (Lorraine, Quebec) picked up an empty netter, his fourth of the season, with Barton and Grant Farrell (Calgary, Alberta) earning assists at 19:01.
Merrimack's defense successfully killed off all eight power plays and allowed just nine shots on the man advantage. Making his second straight start, Braithwaite made 19 saves, while picking up his third win of the season. The Warriors dominated the faceoff circle winning 44 of 62 draws.
Ouimet's goal marked the 38th of the season for Merrimack, one more than they scored all of last season.
This was the first game all season the Warriors earned at least a point that neither Rob Ricci (Brampton, Ontario) or Matt Jones (Kentwood, MI) scored or assisted on a goal.
Merrimack (7-9-2, 3-9-1 HEA) hosts #9 Northeastern University, who is in first place in Hockey East, Friday night at Lawler Arena at 7 p.m.