The Northeastern men's hockey team (2-3-1, 2-3-1 HEA) was dealt its first loss of the season at Matthews Arena, 5-2, in a penalty-plagued affair on Friday night. The Huskies and Warriors played close through the first 40 minutes before a pair of third-period goals sunk NU in the end.
Sophomore assistant captain Ludwig Karlsson netted his first goal of the season and tacked on an assist while rookie Kevin Roy posted his second-career multi-point game with a goal and an assist in setback.
Senior goaltender Bryan Mountain stopped 27-of-32 shots in his second-consecutive start in net for Northeastern. Merrimack's Sam Marotta steered away 23-of-25 shots in his third victory of the season.
The Warriors outshot Northeastern, 32-25, and scored on 2-of-7 power play chances. The Huskies went 1-for-7 on the power play and totaled 27 minutes in the box on eight calls. Merrimack was whistled for 26 minutes on nine infractions.
Sophomore Adam Reid created the first power play opportunity of the contest after a tripping call at 3:42 of the first stanza. Merrimack never applied any pressure within the two-minute window but the Warriors shutdown a Kyle Singleton tripping infraction a minute and a half later at 4:59.
After Singleton got out of the box, the Huskies threw a bunch of rubber Marotta's way but Northeastern could not convert. Merrimack channeled its defense and went the other way with it for a 1-0 lead at 8:44.
Mike Collins led a 3-on-2 breakout from the Huskies' end and deferred up to Connor Toomey streaking down the right side. Toomey raced through the neutral zone and made a perfect pass to a flanking Jordan Heywood for the one-timer goal past Mountain for the 1-0 advantage.
The Huskies responded with a bunch of real estate when Karlsson smacked a one-time pass through Marotta' five-hole at 17:54.
Heywood and Brendan Ellis went off for hitting from behind at 16:38 and 17:26, respectively, but rookie defender Dustin Darou sandwiched an elbowing call in a 17:08 of the first to formulate a 4-on-3 Huskies' advantage. K. Roy cycled the puck up to rookie Colton Saucerman along the far boards. Saucerman and Karlsson played catch at the top of the zone before Karlsson saw his opportunity and rifled Saucerman's dish in at 17:54 to sew the game up with the power play tally, 1-1.
With just 39 seconds to go in the first period, the Warriors reclaimed their lead one-goal lead with a fortuitous rip by Heywood. Collins and Ellis set the play up in Northeastern's end. Collins controlled the disc at the top of the zone and zipped it over to Heywood and the defenseman dumped the puck on net from the top of the right circle. Merrimack set a firm screen on Mountain and the puck found its way past Mountain for a 2-1 lead at 19:21.
Physical play continued throughout the second frame despite no scoring. After a senior Drew Ellement hitting from behind call and a Justin Hussar boarding infraction proved harmless, the Huskies put themselves in two-man hole. Merrimack's 5-on-3 advantage yielded a two-goal leading at the start of the third period.
Sophomore Joseph Manno took a seat at 19:22 and junior Braden Pimm took a five-minute major call at 19:43 for hitting from behind. With one second remaining in Manno's call, Kyle Bigos clanked a slap shot from above the right dot off a Collins' pass for the 3-1 lead at 1:22 of the third frame.
Junior Cody Ferriero's cross-checking call at 9:13 of the third yielded the Warriors' second power play marker of the final period. Brian Christie kicked the puck out of the corner out to John Heffernan in the left slot. Heffernan slid it over and Ellis teed the puck up for a 4-1 advantage at 10:15.
The Huskies closed the gap at 14:17 immediately after a Tom McCarthy cross-checking call let out. Karlsson triggered the play by feeding Saponari on the far post. Saponari made a quick deke and discovered K. Roy alone on the other side. K. Roy made no hesitations and roofed it over Marotta's pad to cut into Merrimack's cushion, 4-2.
Head coach Jim Madigan pulled Mountain at 17:43 but Dan Kolomatis put the final nail in the coffin when he sent a full-ice clear into the net at 18:46 to finish off the contest, 5-2.
Northeastern and Merrimack close out the regular season series tomorrow night at Lawler Arena. The Huskies have yet to venture to North Andover, Mass., this season. Northeastern's last victory at Merrimack occurred on Dec. 4, 2010, by a 2-1 final.
- Kevin Roy notched his second-career multi-point game with a goal and an assist to overtake the team points lead (3-2-5). Roy's first two-point game also occurred against Merrimack in the season opener on Oct. 10.
- Ludwig Karlsson curbed his scoreless draught and scored his first goal since the outing at Boston University last season on March 2, 2012. Karlsson also secured an assist, marking his first multi-point game since playing at Vermont on Jan. 27.
- The last time Bryan Mountain earned consecutive starts in net for Northeastern occurred against Merrimack back on Dec. 4-5, 2009. The Bryn Mawr, Pa., native went 1-1-0 in those two starts.