|1st||12:34||MER||1-0||EV||Brett Seney (9)||Chris LeBlanc/3, Jonathan Lashyn/8|
|1st||18:52||QUI||1-1||PP||Sam Anas (13)||Matthew Peca/18, Travis St. Denis/6|
|3rd||5:45||MER||2-1||EV GW||Brett Seney (10)||Clayton Jardine/5, Ben Bahe/7|
|3rd||17:39||MER||3-1||PP||Hampus Gustafsson (6)||-|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Collin Delia (W, 4-3-1)||60:00||1||7||12||5||24|
|Sean Lawrence (L, 1-2-1)||59:03||3||7||5||6||18|
HAMDEN, Ct. - Freshman Brett Seney (London, Ontario) netted his first career two-goal night to lead the 20th-ranked Merrimack College men's ice hockey team to a 3-1 victory over No. 12 Quinnipiac on Saturday night at High Point Solutions Arena. The win clinched a weekend sweep over the Bobcats, as the Warriors finish the regular season a perfect 5-0-0 against the ECAC.
In a game that threw more and more physical as each minute passed, Merrimack and Quinnipiac traded goals in the first period, as Seney lit the lamp early to highlight the Warriors' early attack. Following a scoreless second, the rookie sensation tickled the twine again moments after his own penalty expired to account for the game-winner before sophomore Hampus Gustafsson (Ljungby, Sweden) iced it with a late power-play strike.
Making his first start of the second half in net, freshman Collin Delia (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) was rock solid, allowing only one goal on 25 tries (96.0%) to improve to 4-3-1 on the season.
The first frame saw Merrimack control most of the opening 10 minutes before Quinnipiac gathered its legs, then the penalties began to mount. After a QU man advantage was cut short by a penalty of its own, the Warriors mustered their fourth 4-on-4 goal of the year. Seney fed sophomore Chris LeBlanc (Winthrop, Mass.) on the far wall before the latter sent a shot on net; while Seney was skating through the crease, the rookie picked up the rebound and tucked it home to make it 1-0 at 12:34. Sophomore Jonathan Lashyn (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) also assisted on the play.
But later in the frame after another Merrimack penalty, the Bobcats and their 11th-ranked power-play unit capitalized, as Sam Anas snuck in a wrister from a tough angle near the goal line to draw the hosts even with 1:08 left in the period.
Quinnipiac controlled the shot chart and the territorial battle in the second period, but the Bobcats were kept off the board despite a 12-5 edge in shot attempts and a plethora of Grade-A scoring chances.
With the game still up for grabs at the start of the third and the physicality of the contest ramping up, Merrimack went to an early power play but that was nullified after Seney was whistled for boarding just 3:40 into the period. The Warrior penalty kill came through again, and just as the power play expired, junior Ben Bahe (Stillwater, Minn.) used a heads-up pass up to Seney, who had just exited the box, and then skated in 2-on-1 with senior Clayton Jardine (Lacombe, Alberta). Jardine threw it back to Seney, who then watched his centering pass deflect in off a Quinnipiac skater and into the back of the net to make it 2-1 early in the third.
Suddenly in front, Merrimack's defense and Delia buckled down; two more minutes of 4-on-4 ensued after matching minors midway through the period, but the Bobcats would go to their last power play of the game with just over five to play.
Midway through that penalty, though, junior Vinny Scotti (Vineland, N.J.) forced a turnover and used his speed to create a breakaway chance before being hauled down from behind. While a penalty shot was initially rewarded, Merrimack opted to decline the penalty shot, thus negating the rest of the QU power play and giving itself an abbreviated man advantage of its own.
That decision paid dividends, as Gustafsson buried an insurance tally from the high slot for Merrimack's first power-play marker in 13 tries (dating back to Dec. 6 at BU) with 2:21 to play, and the Warriors would run out the clock from there to secure their first-ever weekend sweep against Quinnipiac.
Merrimack continues its busiest two-week stretch of the season with a midweek Hockey East clash at No. 17 Boston College on Wednesday (Jan. 21) night. Puck drop from Conte Forum is set for 7 p.m.