|1st||1:26||UML||1-0||EV||C.J. Smith (1)||Chris Forney/1|
|2nd||3:36||MER||1-1||EV GT||Ben Bahe (3)||Aaron Titcomb/4, Brian Christie/4|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||OT||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|UMass Lowell (3-0-1)||0/4||2/4||0|
|UMass Lowell Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||OT||Saves|
|Kevin Boyle (T, 3-0-1)||65:00||1||5||12||15||2||34|
|Collin Delia (T, 2-0-1)||65:00||1||1||9||1||3||14|
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Senior forward Ben Bahe (Stillwater, Minn.) scored his team-leading third goal of the season and the 19th-ranked Merrimack College men's ice hockey team threw a season-high 35 shots on net, as the Warriors settled for a 1-1 draw against No. 7/8 UMass Lowell in both teams' Hockey East opener on Friday night at Lawler Rink.
Score: #19/RV Merrimack 1, #7/8 UMass Lowell 1
Records: Merrimack (2-0-1, 0-0-1 HEA) | UMass Lowell (3-0-1, 0-0-1 HEA)
Location: Lawler Rink | North Andover, Mass.
How It Happened
After splitting the regular season series last year, Merrimack and UMass Lowell opened their home-and-home series on Friday night with both sides undefeated on the young season.
The home crowd needn't wait long to see some fireworks, as Merrimack nearly scored just over a minute into the game. After controlling an offensive-zone draw, Merrimack cycled and junior Chris LeBlanc (Winthrop, Mass.) tipped a centering feed directly on net, but Lowell netminder Kevin Boyle made a stellar save that immediately led to an odd-man rush the other way, and C.J. Smith would get the go-ahead tally to go, as the River Hawks took a 1-0 lead just 1:26 into the contest.
That score went unchanged through the remainder of the first, a period that was dominated more by physical play and less by offensive chances.
The Warriors would draw even at 3:36 of the second, as Bahe deposited a loose rebound on the backhand on his team-leading third tally of the year. Sophomore Aaron Titcomb (Charlestown, Mass.) did most of the work on the play, homing in 1-on-1 against Boyle, and it was his rebound that eventually led to the equalizer. Senior Brian Christie (West Chester, Pa.) also assisted on the play.
The rest of the second saw Merrimack garner a few more opportunities to light the lamp, but Boyle turned away the next 12 shots he saw. The River Hawks' best chance came late in the period after Merrimack was called for back-to-back penalties that led to a brief 5-on-3 Lowell power play, but the Warriors' penalty kill remained perfect on the year to send the game into the third even at 1-1.
Merrimack put together perhaps its best period of the season in the third, outshooting the River Hawks by a 15-1 margin, but Boyle stopped all of them; the Warriors were then forced to fend off a late Lowell power play to send the game to overtime.
Neither side recorded much in terms of scoring chances in overtime, as both sides settled for a point in the league standings.
Inside The Numbers
- Merrimack's 35 shots were a season-high, while the defense limited the River Hawks to a season-low 15 shots
- Merrimack's penalty moved to a perfect 11-for-11 on the season after turning away Lowell's four power-play chances
- Sophomore goaltender Collin Delia (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) finished with 14 saves, while Boyle turned away 34 for the River Hawks
- Titcomb and Christie both upped their team-leading assist totals to four
Merrimack and Lowell finish off the weekend series tomorrow night at the Tsongas Center. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.