Tuesday, December 30, 2008
MERRIMACK EARNS 5-2 WIN OVER UCONN TUESDAY
Rob Ricci Nets Three Points in the Warriors' Victory
STORRS, CT - The Merrimack hockey team scored three times in the first 22:12 to capture the consolation game at the UConn Holiday Toyota Classic 5-2 over the University of Connecticut Tuesday afternoon.
The Warriors jumped all over the Huskies in the first period scoring twice in a span of 1:44. At 8:14, Fraser Allan's (North Battleford, Sask.) wrist shot from the blue line found its way through heavy traffic in front and into the net for the defenseman's second of the tournament and of the season. Joe Cucci (Melrose Park, IL) and Francois Ouimet (Lorraine, Quebec) worked hard along the boards to push the puck up to Allan at the blue line.
At 9:58 with both teams skating four aside, captain Rob Ricci (Brampton, Ontario) beat UConn goaltender Beau Erickson with a wrister under his blocker for his team-leading sixth of the year. Allan earned his fourth point of the tournament as he fed Ricci down low to start the play.
Defenseman Joe Loprieno (Bloomingdale, IL) tallied the Warriors' first short-handed goal of the season as the captain executed a three-on-two with Ricci and Bobby Kramer (New York, NY) and sniped one past Erickson for his second of the year at 2:12 of the second.
UConn fought back though getting two goals from Justin Hernandez and outshooting the Warriors 15-5 in the final 20 minutes. But Cannata turned aside 14 third-period shots preserving the win for Merrimack.
Jesse Todd (Calgary, Alberta) added an empty netter at 19:31 of the third with Ricci and Chris Barton (Calgary, Alberta) getting the assists, and Carter Madsen (Calgary, Alberta) chipped in with his first collegiate goal with just four seconds left. Kramer and Ryan Flanigan (Rochester, NY) worked hard down the low on the Warriors' fifth tally with Madsen knocking it past a dejected Erickson.
Cannata was sharp in goal as he turned aside 23 shots, while improving to 3-2-3 on the season.
Ricci earned his first three-point game of the season, with Ouimet, Kramer and Allan each earning a multi-point game. Ten different Warriors picked up points while there were five different goal scorers. Allan, Ricci and Grant Farrell (Calgary, Alberta) each posted a +3 rating.
Merrimack (5-9-3, 2-7-2 HEA) returns to action Saturday against the United States Under-18 National Team in an exhibition game at Lawler Arena at 7 p.m.