Mansfield Goal Sends Merrimack Past Holy Cross, 3-2
Senior defenseman Justin Mansfield scores game-winning goal for Warriors

Senior defenseman Justin Mansfield scored the game-winning goal for the Warriors
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
1st 14:26  MER1-0 EV Brett Seney (1)Mathieu Tibbet/1, Dan Kolomatis/1
1st 19:30  MER2-0 EV Brian Christie (1) -
2nd 17:04  HCR1-2 EV Brett McKinnon (1)Jake Bolton/1, Mike Barrett/1
3rd 6:24  HCR2-2 EV Matt Vidal (1)Logan Smith/1
3rd 13:16  MER3-2 EV GW Justin Mansfield (1)Hampus Gustafsson/1, Jonathan Lashyn/1
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Merrimack  2013
Holy Cross  0112
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd SOG
Merrimack  12101335
Holy Cross  910625
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
Merrimack (1-0-0)  0/4 6/12 0
Holy Cross (0-1-0)  0/4 6/12 0
Merrimack Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Rasmus Tirronen (W, 1-0-0)59:582 99523
Empty Net0:020     
Holy Cross Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Matt Ginn (L, 0-1-0)59:003 10101232
Empty Net1:000     

WORCESTER, Mass. - Senior defenseman Justin Mansfield scored at 13:16 of the third period to lift Merrimack College to a 3-2 win against Holy Cross on Friday night at Hart Center.

Carrying a one-goal lead into the third period, Merrimack went to an early power play on a cross-check call but was held in check by the Crusaders. Then, moments after the man advantage expired, Logan Smith fed Matt Vidal down the right wing, and the latter beat senior Rasmus Tirronen (Espoo, Finland) low blocker side while on the rush to draw even.

Holy Cross kept the momentum tilted in its favor after the Warriors were penalized two minutes after that goal, but the Merrimack penalty kill unit stayed perfect on the night to keep the score even at 2-2.

Following matching penalties to both sides at the 13:05 mark, Merrimack found itself set up in the Holy Cross zone while skating 4-on-4; on the ensuing draw won by the Warriors, sophomore Jonathan Lashyn (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) took the feed from the right point and fed sophomore Hampus Gustafsson (Ljungby, Sweden). He eventually thread it through traffic to Mansfield in the left circle, who buried a lightning-quick shot to put the Warriors on top for good.

Holy Cross would pull goaltender Matt Ginn, who became the Crusaders' Division I saves leader earlier in the game and finished with 32 saves, and skated with an extra man over the final two minutes.

After two more matching penalties made it a 4-on-4 situation with just over a minute to go, Holy Cross whizzed a few dangerous chances through the Warrior defense and had another power play upcoming with 15 seconds left. But the puck never was iced by a Warrior skater, and despite a few heart-stopping moments that saw the puck nearly trickle through in the waning seconds, Merrimack held on as the final horn sounded with them on top.

Merrimack built itself a 2-0 lead through two periods before the Crusaders clawed to within one with a late goal in the second, setting up the heroics in the final period.

After a dominant first 10 minutes, Merrimack finally broke through at the 14:26 mark of the opening stanza. With the all-freshmen fourth line out on the ice, senior Dan Kolomatis (Basking Ridge, N.J.) thread a look to rookie winger Mathieu Tibbet (Dover, Del.), who promptly fed freshman Brett Seney (London, Ontario) in the slot. The centerman deked around a defender before sliding a gorgeous backhand shot five-hole through Ginn for the opening salvo.

It appeared both sides were heading to the break with the score still 1-0, but a turnover quickly changed that; with senior Quinn Gould (Fort McMurray, Alberta) homing down on a Holy Cross skater, that pressure forced an errant pass that found the stick of junior Brian Christie (West Chester, Pa.), and the latter sniped a sharp-angle shot that ricocheted off Ginn's blocker and into the net to make it 2-0 after 20 minutes.

Despite another strong effort on a pair of Merrimack power plays, the visitors were kept off the board through the first 15 minutes of the middle stanza. Then, at the 17:04 mark, Brett McKinnon ripped a slap shot from the blue line that ricocheted off a Merrimack skater and deflected past Tirronen to get the hosts on the board with 2:56 left in the period. That score would hold the rest of the way, as the Warriors took a 2-1 edge into the second intermission.

A chippy start to the third period ensued, as Holy Cross cut into its deficit on the shot chart and then the scoreboard, as Matt Vidal tallied the equalizer on the rush with a low blocker shot that snuck by Tirronen to tie things up at 6:24 in the period.

Merrimack had to repel another Holy Cross power play as the hosts continued their bid for the upset, but after withholding that wave of momentum, the Warriors got the lead back for good on Mansfield's late marker.