NORTH ANDOVER, MA. - The Merrimack hockey team scored three times in 2:17 late in the second period to upend fifth-ranked Vermont 3-2 Friday night at Lawler Arena.
With the loss, the Catamounts drop to 16-7-4 overall, 11-6-3 in Hockey East. With its second straight win, Merrimack improves to 7-17-3 overall, 3-15-2 in conference. These two teams will take ice again Saturday at Lawler Arena at 7 p.m.
The Warriors trailed 1-0 late in the second period but rallied to take a two-goal lead behind goals from Karl Stollery, Ryan Flanigan and Chris Barton. Joe Cannata stopped 35 shots for his fifth win of the season.
With the Warriors on the power play, Stollery wristed a shot that beat a screened Rob Madore for his third of the year at 14:12. Flanigan and Jesse Todd earned the assists on the game-tying goal.
Sixty-eight seconds later and with the Warriors back on the man advantage, Flanigan picked up his first collegiate tally as he went hard to the net and swatted home a rebound off a Rob Ricci (Brampton, Ontario) shot. Ricci and Stollery did a great job to keep the puck in at the blue line, negating a possible Catamount clear, and got it quickly to the net where Flanigan was waiting.
Barton made it 3-1 69-seconds later after Ricci worked the puck down low to Francois Ouimet, who battled in the corner with a Vermont defender before centering it to Barton, who buried it for his eighth of the year.
Viktor Stalberg added his 19th of the season with 7:51 remaining in the game, but the Warriors held on from there for their second straight victory.
The Catamounts outshot Merrimack 14-3 in the third period, and 37-22 overall, but Cannata stood tall, stopping 13 of 14 shots, while his defense blocked another ten. The Warriors blocked 18 shots overall to eight for Vermont.
For the third straight game, the Warriors' power play netted two goals. Meanwhile, the penalty kill was perfect stopping all seven opportunities for the Catamounts, including three straight in a 7:01 span early in the second.
Tonight's win marked the first time Merrimack has beaten the Catamounts at Lawler Arena in six career games.
Madore finished with 19 saves for Vermont, while Dan Lawson took feeds from Matt Marshall and Chris Atkinson for his second of the season at 6:33 of the second to give the visitors the 1-0 lead.