Northeastern completed a weekend sweep of Merrimack on Saturday, as Merrimack’s losing skid extends to nine …
BOSTON — The result continued to be a familiar one for the Merrimack men’s hockey team last night at Northeastern, falling to the Huskies, 4-1, at Matthews Arena, but Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy said that he felt his team took a step in the right direction, especially following a game on Friday where Dennehy said he was “enraged” after the 5-2 loss to the Huskies at home.
Ed. Note — You can also read this story in Sunday’s Eagle Tribune
“We had 15 turnovers in the first period (Friday) night, and they carried the puck into our zone 10 times in the first period … in the first period,” said Dennehy. “I’m disappointed we lost today, and at Merrimack losing isn’t an option, but I was pretty enraged after the game last night. We regrouped, I give our guys credit, we gave ourselves a chance to win a road game, didn’t do it, but we’ll have another opportunity on Friday (at Boston University).”
Adam Gaudette put the Huskies on the board first, just over the midway mark of the opening period. The freshman jammed in a rebound in front.
The Warriors would tie the score early in the second period. Mathieu Foget made a heady play in the neutral zone, picking off a pass and racing into the offensive zone with Brett Seney on a 2-on-1. Foget pulled the defender his way and fed Seney for a pretty tic-tac-toe goal.
“There are no moral victories, we didn’t win the game, but I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win,” Dennehy said. “I thought we did a good job of forcing them to dump pucks in and a pretty good job of efficiently breaking it out. Unfortunately we had a couple of turnovers and they got ahead, and they did a good job of protecting the lead and not giving us much in the third.”
Northeastern would retake the lead about three minutes later. Nolan Stevens forced a bad turnover on the wall in the Merrimack defensive zone and Alex Carle did all he could to keep Stevens from moving in alone on Collin Delia (21 saves), but Stevens was able to find room what amounted to a partial breakaway after the turnover.
The Huskies added insurance on a Dylan Sikura snipe on the power play in the third, and then Zach Aston-Reese would score late to make it 4-1 after forcing a turnover in the Merrimack zone.
“We still need to take care of the puck,” Dennehy said. “They have a couple of guys that are dangerous and I didn’t think we did a good enough job there. There were a couple of turnovers that cost us.”
Big 10’s Wisconsin On Merrimack’s Schedule
Merrimack College and Wisconsin will play a home-and-home series over a four-year span beginning with the 2016-17 season. The news was first reported by Merrimack radio’s Mike Machnik during last night’s game between Merrimack and Northeastern.
Next season, the Warriors will travel to the Kohl Center for two games. The following year (2017-18), Wisconsin will come east to play one game at Merrimack’s Lawler Rink, and another game at a yet-to-be-determined Hockey East opponent. The cycle will repeat the following two years, with the yet-to-be-determined team, which according to sources is likely Boston College, traveling to the Kohl Center in 2018-19 and the Badgers then coming back to the Hockey East schools in 2019-20, returning the second game at Lawler Rink.
This will mark the first time that the Wisconsin program will visit Lawler Rink, and the first time any current Big 10 team will travel to Merrimack. Ohio State played at Merrimack during the 1996-97 season, but the Buckeyes were then a member of the now defunct CCHA.
Merrimack has only played Wisconsin once in its history, losing 5-4 in the Badger Hockey Showdown during the 2009-10 season.
Northeastern 4, Merrimack 1
at Matthews Arena, Northeastern
Merrimack College (7-13-5, 2-7-5): 0-1-0—1
Northeastern University (9-12-4, 4-8-3): 1-1-2—4
First Period: 1. NU Adam Gaudette 6 (Garret Cockerill, Kevin Roy), pp, 11:22.
Second Period: 2. MC Brett Seney 6 (Mathieu Foget), ev, 8:25; 3. NU Nolan Stevens 10 (Zach Aston-Reese), ev, 11:44.
Third Period; 4. NU Dylan Sikura 8 (Garret Cockerill, Mike McMurtry), pp, 2:56; 5. NU Zach Aston-Reese 7 (Matt Benning), ev, 18:57.
Shots: Merrimack 3-9-4—16 ; Northeastern 5-911—25
Saves: MC Delia 4-8-9—21 ; NU Ruck 3-8-4—15
Power Play: Merrimack 0 for 3; Northeastern 2 for 5
Penalties: Merrimack 6-12; Northeastern 5-10
Next: at Boston University Friday, 7 p.m.