ORONO, Maine –Merrimack fell to Maine, 3-1, in the decisive Game 3 of the Hockey East Quarterfinals at Alfond Arena on Sunday.
With the extra attacker on in the final minute, Jesse Todd’s wrister from in between the circles was stopped by the blocker of Dan Sullivan. Merrimack poured the pressure on, but failed to get another shot on net, as the Black Bears prevailed with the victory and the quarterfinal series.
Maine (22-12-3) will face Boston University in the Hockey East Semifinals next Friday. Merrimack’s (18-12-7) season likely comes to an end, barring significant changes in the Pairwise rankings over the next week. The selection show is next Sunday.
For the third straight night, over 10% (200 students) of Merrimack’s student body were in attendance as four Merrimack fan buses invaded Orono over the weekend.
Sunday’s game was likely the final game for the eight Merrimack seniors, who will graduate as the program’s all-time Division 1 leader in wins and winning percentage. Cannata graduates as the program’s all-time leader in wins, minutes, goals-against, saves and save percentage, while Karl Stollery broke the program’s all-time record for games played tonight with 145.
After starting the year 9-0-1 and earning the first-ever No. 1 national ranking in school history, Merrimack finished the year 9-11-6, failing to win two in a row on the same weekend since late October. The Warriors were ranked nationally every week this season for the first time ever and were in the top-10 for 17 straight weeks.