|1st||3:30||MER||1-0||EV||Jace Hennig (1)||Jonathan Lashyn/2, Justin Mansfield/1|
|1st||11:22||HCR||1-1||EV||Castan Sommer (1)||Jake Bolton/2, Logan Smith/2|
|2nd||8:17||MER||2-1||PP GW||Hampus Gustafsson (1)||Quinn Gould/1, Marc Biega/1|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Holy Cross (0-2-0)||0/3||5/10||0|
|Holy Cross Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Matt Ginn (L, 0-2-0)||60:00||2||10||14||8||32|
|Rasmus Tirronen (W, 2-0-0)||59:59||1||9||12||5||26|
NO. ANDOVER, Mass. - The Merrimack College men's ice hockey team is off to a 2-0 start to the season after sweeping its weekend series with the College of the Holy Cross, as the Warriors topped the Crusaders with a 2-1 victory in their home opener on Saturday night at Lawler Rink.
A night after racing out to a 2-0 lead only to watch the Crusaders claw bac to tie the match in the final stanza, Merrimack made its third-period lead hold from the midpoint of the game all the way until the final horn, as a strong effort from the hosts kept Holy Cross off the board over the final two periods.
Merrimack wasted little time in getting on the board, as rookie Jace Hennig (Port Moody, British Columbia) netted his first career marker at 3:30 to put the hosts on top. The rookie winger made his first goal a gritty one, digging out a shot taken by Jonathan Lashyn (Camrose, Alberta) and shuffling it through traffic and in to light the lamp. Senior Justin Mansfield (Arlington, Mass.) also assisted on the play.
Later on in the first, Holy Cross drew even, as Castan Sommer tipped in a slap shot from Jake Bolton to make it a 1-1 contest at the 11:22 mark of the first.
Both sides entered the intermission even at a goal apiece and that stayed true until the midpoint of the second stanza. After a high sticking call to Holy Cross at 6:29, sophomore Hampus Gustafsson (Ljungby, Sweden) took a feed up the left half wall from senior Quinn Gould (Fort McMurray, Alberta) and sent it across the slot where a Merrimack skater was looming. That puck never got through, but fortunately for the Warriors, it deflected in off a Holy Cross stick and into the twine at the 8:17 mark, putting the hosts back on top. Freshman Marc Biega (Pointe-Claire, Quebec) earned his first career helper on the play, as well.
In the third, Merrimack played perhaps its most complete period of the night, outshooting the Crusaders by three and generating plenty of strong looks on a pair of power plays.
Still, the game came down to the final moments with Merrimack clinging to its one-goal lead. The Crusaders nearly buried the equalizer on a wraparound attempt that senior Rasmus Tirronen (Espoo, Finland) sprawled to make a glorious save that was upheld by video review.
But with mostly upperclassmen cycling through the last shifts of the game, the Warriors kept Holy Cross pinned back deep over the last two minutes, as the visitors weren't even able to pull goaltender Matt Ginn thanks to their constant pressure, as the hosts were able to run out the clock all the way to the final horn to seal the win.