|1st||4:44||NDM||1-0||EV||Vince Hinostroza (2)||Thomas DiPauli/7, Jordan Gross/5|
|2nd||0:42||MER||1-1||EV||Brian Christie (5)||Justin Mansfield/2, Ben Bahe/3|
|2nd||15:57||NDM||2-1||EV||Andy Ryan (1)||Peter Schneider/3, Anders Bjork/4|
|3rd||5:12||MER||2-2||EV||Brett Seney (5)||Jonathan Lashyn/5|
|OT||1:44||NDM||3-2||EV GW||Connor Hurley (2)||Jake Evans/4, Robbie Russo/7|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||OT||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Notre Dame (6-4-1)||0/2||4/8||0|
|Notre Dame Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||OT||Saves|
|Chad Katunar (W, 3-1-0)||61:44||2||8||9||4||1||22|
|Rasmus Tirronen (L, 6-2-1)||61:44||3||6||7||9||0||22|
North Andover, Mass. - Freshman forward Connor Hurley scored at 1:44 of overtime to send Notre Dame to a 3-2 win against Merrimack at Volpe Center on Friday night.
Playing at home against Notre Dame for the first time since 1991, Merrimack played a mostly physical and back-and-forth game against the Irish, as the Warriors were held in the 20-shot range for only the second time this year and, more shockingly, were outshot by the opposition for the first time this year.
After Notre Dame took a first-period lead, junior Brian Christie (West Chester, Pa.) gave the sellout home crowd reason to cheer with his team-leading fifth marker of the year early in the second. The Fighting Irish would skate into the locker room with a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes, but Seney brought the hosts back even on an dazzling goal 5:12 into the third to send the game to overtime.
In the extra session, Merrimack fired the opening salvo on net but it was turned aside. Then, after Robbie Russo dumped the puck from his own blue line to Jake Evans, the latter skated into the zone before firing a shot that found the stick of Connor Hurley in front. He was able to wait out senior goaltender Rasmus Tirronen (Espoo, Finland) and found the twine to give the Irish the win.
Back in a tightly contested first period, each side felt each other out over the opening five minutes before the Irish cycled through the Warrior zone. Jordan Gross played a pass along the blue line to Thomas DiPauli, whose shot through traffic found the stick of Vince Hinostroza, who used a backhand move off a rebound to put the visitors up a goal at the 4:44 mark.
Merrimack would enjoy back-to-back power play chances midway through the frame and saw a number of solid looks over the course of those sequences, but was kept in check before the penalty kill repelled a late Notre Dame man advantage, as the Warriors entered the locker room down a goal after 20 minutes.
The Warriors wouldn't need long to draw even, as senior Justin Mansfield (Arlington, Mass.) took a give-and-go feed from junior Ben Bahe (Stillwater, Minn.) up the right wing and waited until the perfect moment before threading a pass from the right point all the way to the far side of the crease, where Christie was waiting to tap it in on a diving effort for the equalizer 47 seconds into the period.
Andy Ryan would put the Irish back ahead at the 15:57 mark of the second on a setup from Peter Schneider and Andy Bork to give the visitors a 2-1 edge after 40 minutes. But five minutes into the third, sophomore Jonathan Lashyn (Camrose, Alberta) came away with a loose puck near his own blue line before passing to Seney. The rookie circled twice in the neutral zone before curling along the left half wall, cutting back toward the slot and unleashing an electric shot that beat Notre Dame netminder Chad Katunar for the equalizer.
That would be the last time the Warriors found the cage, falling for the first time in four overtime tries (2-1-1) this year.
Inside The Numbers
Coincidentally enough, the last time Merrimack and Notre Dame played in Lawler Rink in 1991 the game also went to overtime, and like Friday, the Irish came out on top (2-1)
Notre Dame finished with a slim 25-24 edge in shot attempts, becoming the first team to outshoot Merrimack in a game this year
Seney and Christie now share the team lead with five goals apiece thanks to their efforts Friday
There wasn't much in the form of special teams on Friday, but Merrimack's PK was dominant again, turning away both of Notre Dame's chances while coming up empty on its three power plays
Merrimack finished 40-for-70 (57.1%) on the dot, with sophomore Hampus Gustafsson (Ljungby, Sweden) winning a side-high 15 faceoffs