NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The Merrimack College men's hockey team had 14 different players register at least a point, led by Alex Jefferies' four-point performance, as the Warriors cruised past the U.S. National Team Development Program U-18 team by an 8-2 tally Sunday afternoon at Lawler Rink.
Jefferies scored the game's first goal just 1:27 in, then Ben Brar pushed the lead to 2-0 six minutes later. The NTDP scored two quick goals midway through the second period to temporarily get back in the game, but the Warriors scored the game's final four goals to close the scoring.
While the game was counted as an exhibition, it's still the most goals Merrimack has scored in a contest since an 8-2 win over Massachusetts on Oct. 23, 1993.
Score: Merrimack 8, U.S. NTDP U-18 Team 2
Records: Merrimack (6-9-0, 3-7-0 HEA) | U.S. NTDP U-18 Team (19-5-1)
How It Happened
- Just over a minute into the game, Declan Carlile fought his way forward to win a puck for Jefferies in the neutral zone. The sophomore came in on a 2-on-1 and opted to shoot and find the back of the net near side.
- Brar doubled the lead when Jefferies slipped a pass to the slot for Mark Hillier. The freshman dropped it towards the goal line for Brar, who quickly swatted it home.
- The score remained 2-0 after 20 minutes and the Warriors needed just over five minutes to extend the lead in second. Carlile and Jordan Seyfert combined to play the puck along the wall into the neutral zone for Jefferies, who flew into the zone and fought through a hold to fire one home for his second of the day.
- It took just three minutes for the scoring onslaught to continue on a highlight reel caliber goal. Seyfert carried the puck into the attacking end on the far side of the ice, then spun around and connected with Regan Kimens on a tape-to-tape pass that the junior one-timed home.
- The NTDP secured a 5-on-3 power play not long after and took the momentum to notch a pair 2:17 apart.
- Merrimack needed just 40 seconds to get the lead back to three thanks to Mac Welsher. He collected a centering pass from Matt Copponi and slammed it into the back of the net. Jefferies earned the secondary assist for his fourth point of the day.
- The Warriors did not let the NTDP back into the game in the third. Adam Arvedson had a nice finish on a wrist shot to the top shelf, then Kimens added an empty-netter and Zach Uens scored at the buzzer to close the scoring at 8-2.
Notes & Numbers
- Jefferies also finished the game with a +5 rating to lead all skaters.
- Carlile, Seyfert, Kimens, Hillier and Arvedson also enjoyed multi-point games.
- Mike Brown and Ryan Nolan tied for the team lead with two blocked shots apiece.
- Seyfert (9-for-11) and Hugo Esselin (7-for-9) both enjoyed exceptional games at the faceoff dot.
- The loss ends the NTDP's 12-game winning streak against USHL, International and NCAA Division I opponents.
Merrimack concludes the fall semester Dec. 17 when it welcomes Dartmouth in to Lawler Rink. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 pm.