NORTH ANDOVER, MA - In his first career start, Sam Marotta (Bridgewater, MA) had 25 saves for the shutout and added an assist as #13 Merrimack moved to 4-0 with a 5-0 win over UConn in front of a sellout crowd of 2,489 at Lawler Arena.
Merrimack (4-0-0, 2-0-0 HEA) will head to Vermont for a pair of games next weekend with the Catamounts beginning Friday at 7 p.m. at the Gutterson Fieldhouse.
The Warriors, who have won 11 straight at Lawler dating back to last year, are off to their best start since 1993-94 following Saturday's victory and are now 29-5-2 at Lawler Arena since 2009-10. Elliott Sheen (Lethbridge, AB) gave the hosts the lead at 18:56 with his first of the year. Ryan Flanigan (Rochester, NY) and Jordan Heywood (Regina, SK) did a great job to keep the puck in at the point, and Heywood worked it down low to Carter Madsen (Calgary, AB), who fed Sheen, who one-timed it past Garrett Bartus.
Jeff Velleca (Waterbury, CT) made it 2-0 at 2:58 of the power play, taking a stretch pass from Brendan Ellis (Kelowna, BC) and beating Bartus five-hole for his second of the year. Marotta actually started the play, making a breakaway stop with his team short-handed to get his first career assist in his first collegiate start.
Merrimack had six power plays in a penalty marred second but only converted once as the teams combined for 37 total minutes, including three major penalties.
Karl Stollery (Camrose, AB) added his second of the year at 4:41 of the third, as Shawn Bates (Fort Saskatchewan, AB) fed him perfectly in front of Bartus to increase the lead to 3-0 in favor of the hosts.
Flanigan and Ellis notched late third-period power play markers with Jesse Todd (Camrose, AB), Mike Collins (Boston, MA), Velleca and Rhett Bly (Regina, SK) tallying helpers as the Warriors ran away late, taking advantage of five third-period power plays.
Merrimack's power play finished 3-for-12 with 16 shots.
Ellis, Sheen and Velleca each had multiple point efforts, as ten Warriors picked up points in the win.
Merrimack outshot the Huskies 32-25 in the win, with Bartus notching 27 saves in the losing effort. The Warriors, who have given up just four goals in four games, are the only team unbeaten in Hockey East through three weeks of the season.