NORTH ANDOVER, MA - Tied at one entering the third period, the Merrimack hockey team was not able to defeat the UConn Huskies on their home ice, falling 3-1 in front of 2,084 fans at Lawler Arena. The Huskies scored two third period goals en route to their second victory of the season.
Merrimack (4-5-1, 3-2-1 HEA) will return hit the road for a conference matchup with #1 Boston College on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.
With the loss, Merrimack drops to 23-2 lifetime against the UConn Huskies with their last loss coming in 2005.
The Warriors dominated the first 20 minutes of action as they outshot the Huskies 15-5 but they were unable to find the back of the net despite receiving a five minute power play as Trevor Gerling picked up a major and a game misconduct for a hit from behind near the end of the first period.
The Warriors broke through with the first goal of the game after a delayed penalty on UConn as Kyle Singleton (Beaverton, OR) bounced on a loose puck in front of the Huskies goaltender and buried the puck into the wide open net with 8:34 remaining in the second period. Rhett Bly (Regina, SK) and Justin Mansfield (Arlington, Mass.) picked up the assists on Singelton's second tally of the season. The Huskies wasted no time drawing even as less than two minutes later Cody Sharib buried his second goal of the season after a nice pass from Billy Latta on the power play. Sean Ambrosie also recorded an assist on the goal.
Less than four minutes into the final period, senior captain Sean Ambrosie pounced on a Merrimack turnover and beat Rasmus Tirronen (Espoo, Finland) over his left shoulder, making the score 2-1 in favor of the visitors.
The Huskies sealed the game with 18 seconds remaining in the game after the Warriors pulled their goalie for the extra skater. Jacob Poe cleared the puck off the glass and it found the stick of teammate Evan Carriere who buried the empty net goal, just out of the reach of a sprawled out Merrimack defender.
Merrimack finished the game going 0-3 on the power play including not scoring on a five minute power play near the end of the first period. The Warriors produced six shots on goal on the power play while the Huskies went 1-5 on the power play for the night.
Tirronen finished the game with 21 saves in the loss while his counterpart Garrett Bartus finished with 30 saves, earning his second victory of the young season.
The loss on Saturday night marks the first loss to an Atlantic Hockey foe since October 24, 2006 when the Warriors were defeated by Holy Cross.