Marcus Antonelli – Sports Editor
NORTH ANDOVER, Ma. – Merrimack came into this game with a desperation about them. They needed three points, badly.
The Huskies once again, denied them that. In a 4-1 win, Northeastern surpassed Merrimack in the Hockey East standings, completing the weekend sweep. The Warriors haven’t tallied a Hockey East point since January 13th and overall, their record is 10-14-1.
It was Alumni Night, where they paid homage to the trailblazers who brought Merrimack into Division 1 college hockey. A pre-game ceremony was held, honoring former Head Coach Ron Anderson. With over 70 alumni in attendance, it was important to put on a show.
The first period commenced and you could see the Warriors started much better than the previous night. The first 20 minutes concluded in a stalemate, both sides didn’t score but regardless it was good composed hockey.
Coach Scott Borek’s lineup was the big eye-catcher of the night, consisting of 11 forwards and 8 defensemen, with the 4th line center spot vacant. An unusual sight for any hockey fan.
“I don’t think I’ve ever dressed eight defensemen before,” Said Borek, “knowing that we were going to play them in some offensive situations…I thought it was useful to play all eight. Frankly, all of them earned some ice over the last couple of weeks.”
In the second, Merrimack got a powerplay early on and didn’t waste any time. Freshman forward Ty Daneault fired a rocket one-timer from Zack Bookman to make it 1-0.
When discussing the freshman forward, his growth has been tremendous, “His confidence level is very high..” tells Coach Borek, “On the power-play, He’s not afraid to shoot, he just lets it go and our guys know it, you can see they actually look for him. He’s a good player, playing with good players and he’s got a lot of finish in his game, which we need right now.”
Daneault had 2 powerplay goals over the weekend, which in total makes it 10 goals on the season for #43.
Halfway through the second, the tables turned. Huskies forward Jack Campbell was able to finish a rebound off a Dylan Hryckowian shot. Then, about a minute later, defenseman Jackson Dorrington scored a one-timer bomb to give Northeastern the lead.
The third rolled around and both teams continued their back-and-forth rushes. Hugo Ollas made some pretty good saves early on.
At the 10-minute mark of the final period, Northeastern tallied again. It was a deflected goal in front by Alex Campbell, making that his second of the night.
“I again, I thought our team played really hard and played a very good team, went toe to toe and I think the score last night wasn’t indicative of that game,” tells Coach Borek, “and the score, today, was clearly not indicative of this game.”
With 2 minutes left, Coach Borek called Hugo Ollas to the bench. The net was empty, and eventually, Cam Lund finished the job, netting the last goal. Final score, 4-1 Northeastern.
Coach Borek finished the post game discussion on a high note despite the results, “I’m very comfortable with the way we played today,” Coach Borek concludes, “I told them (the team) that I thought we made a positive step today but they’re not listening to that right now. They don’t want to hear that, they just want to put it behind them and get ready to go Monday.”
“It’s tough for a group of guys in this situation, it’s hard and we don’t have a lot of bodies so that makes it tougher.”
If Merrimack wants to make any kind of push for a home playoff game, they’d have to win out the rest of the season.
For more coverage on Merrimack Men’s Hockey follow me on Twitter (@antonelli7jr) for all things Warriors Hockey. Don’t forget to check out the Beacon Newspaper website for articles on games, players, and more!