Merrimack Edges Past New Hampshire, 2-1, To Win Playoff Series
Sophomore forward Jace Hennig scores game-winning goal for Warriors

Sophomore forward Jace Hennig scored the game-winning goal for the Warriors
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
2nd 8:01  MER1-0 EV Derek Petti (5)Marc Biega/9, Ludvig Larsson/4
2nd 18:34  MER2-0 EV GW Jace Hennig (5)Marc Biega/10
3rd 10:34  UNH1-2 PP Matt Dawson (4)Ara Nazarian/7, Kyle Smith/9
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
New Hampshire  0011
Merrimack  0202
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd SOG
New Hampshire  8101028
Merrimack  13151442
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
New Hampshire (11-20-6)  1/3 5/21 0
Merrimack (13-17-7)  0/4 3/6 0
New Hampshire Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Daniel Tirone (L, 9-19-6)58:492 13131440
Empty Net1:110     
Merrimack Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Drew Vogler (W, 5-5-1)59:561 810927
Empty Net0:040     

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Two second-period goals powered the Merrimack College men's ice hockey team past New Hampshire, 2-1, on Sunday, in Game 3 of the two teams' Hockey East Tournament Opening Round Series, sending the Warriors to the quarterfinal round against defending national champion Providence starting on Friday.

The Basics

Score: Merrimack 2, New Hampshire 1
Records: Merrimack (13-17-7, 5-10-7 HEA) | New Hampshire (11-20-6, 4-12-6 HEA)
Location: Lawler Rink | North Andover, Mass.

How It Happened

Playing in a winner-take-all Game 3 for the fifth time since joining Hockey East in 1989 (and owning a 1-3 record in those previous four), Merrimack welcomed UNH back to Lawler Rink for the final time this season knowing that a win would send it to the quarterfinal round of the league tournament for the 20th time in school history.

Merrimack and UNH played to a scoreless first period for the second time in the series, as scoring chances were kept to a minimum as both side struggled to generate some flow after two days off between games.

That changed eight minutes into the third, as freshman Derek Petti (Tewksbury, Mass.) one-timed in a rebound at the bottom of the far circle into an empty net for his third tally of the playoffs to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Marc Biega (Pointe-Claire, Quebec) set up the play with a pretty shot to set up the rebound, and freshman Ludvig Larsson (Malmo, Sweden) also assisted.

Ten minutes later, sophomore Jace Hennig (Port Moody, British Columbia) found the back of the net for the first time in exactly a month, finishing off a gritty individual effort to pick up his own rebound and tuck it home to double the hosts' lead.

Merrimack would then take a major power play into the second intermission and had over four minutes' worth of a man advantage to start the third, but couldn't capitalize. UNH would then commit two more penalties in succession to give the Warriors additional power play time - including about 30 seconds of a 5-on-3 - but could not convert yet again.

That kept the door open for the Wildcats, who took advantage of their own power play halfway through the third after Matt Dawson pinched in from the left point and one-timed a behind-the-net feed into the twine from the left hash to make it a one-goal affair.

That, however, was the closest the visitors would get, as Merrimack hung on to punch its 20th ticket to the quarterfinal round of the league tournament.

How They Scored

MC #1 (Petti/Biega/L. Larsson) | P2 8:01 - Rebound one-timed in from the bottom of the left wing circle.

MC #2 (Hennig/Biega) | P2 18:34 - Rebound poked in from the crease.

NH #1 (Dawson/Nazarian/Smith) (PP) | P3 10:34 - One-timer from the left hash off a behind-the-net feed.

MC #2 (Hennig/Biega) | P2 18:34 - Rebound poked in from the crease.

Notes and Numbers

Before Sunday, Merrimack had never won a best-of-three series when losing Game 1 in 14 previous best-of-three Hockey East Tournament (Opening Round or Quarterfinal) series

Merrimack also won a Hockey East Tournament Game 3 for only the second time since joining the league; the previous time was when it upset top-ranked Boston University in 1998 Petti finished the Opening Round with three goals, tied with Northeastern's Kevin Roy for most goals in the 2016 Hockey East Tournament so far

Goaltenders: W - Drew Vogler (27 saves, 5-5-1) // L - Daniel Tirone (40 saves, 9-19-6)

Power Plays: Merrimack (0-4) // UNH (1-3)

SOG (MC-UNH): 13-8 // 15-10 // 14-10 // 42-28

Faceoffs: MC - 38-of-63 (60.3%)

Up Next

Merrimack heads to Providence to face off against the defending national champions starting Friday in another best-of-three series. Puck drop from Schneider Arena is set for 7 p.m.