WALTHAM — Dominic Dockery went down in the second period after taking a hard hit behind the net from Bentley forward Luke Santerno. Just prior to the hit, Santerno was jumping out of the box after serving a penalty following a scrum where Merrimack forward Cole McBride was hit in the opposite corner.
Dockery wouldn’t return to the game, and according to head coach Scott Borek, he will be out for the foreseeable future.
“Dom is probably out the rest of this weekend and maybe next weekend,” he said. “That was my frustration … it was the second hit from behind.”
Luckily for the Warriors, they were utilizing a new NCAA rule which allows teams to dress an extra skater. On this night, the Warriors were dressing freshman defenseman Tyler Heidt, who was making his NCAA debut.
Borek said earlier in the week that Heidt, who was battling back from an injury of his own, would likely dress in that spot last night, because it gave him the opportunity to get some action without having to log big minutes. After the injury to Dockery, Heidt skated a regular shift with Alex Carle the rest of the game.
“He’s going to be a really good player,” Borek said. “Tonight, we lose a D and with him dressed, we were fortunate. He really handled himself well. He has a lot of ability and he’s very poised. He’s very confident and he made the right play almost every time.”
On one play in the second period, the Warriors were scrambling and in desperate need of a line change. Heidt was able to get the puck on his stick and instead of icing the puck, which would have forced the same tired group to remain on the ice, he flipped it high into the opposite zone, not strong enough to reach the goal line so the Warriors were able to change without an icing.
“He’s smart,” said Borek. “He gets it. You want to relieve pressure but you can’t be right back on the ice for the faceoff. He’s smart and he’s a good skater. He’s played a lot of forward in his life, so he’s good with the puck. He has the poise and the smarts to know what he’s going to do with the puck. His heart rate never went up tonight, which is a great sign.”
No flow to be found, but Warriors find depth
With 11 power plays in the game, and many of them jammed into the first 40 minutes, there was very little flow to the early portion of the game.
“There were 12 minutes of power play and penalty kill in the first period,” Borek said. “That’s tough to get going.
One positive of so much time spent on special teams was that Merrimack was forced to use players in situations they wouldn’t normally be used. And in doing so, found out that their bench just got a little deeper on the penalty kill.
“All those guys played well,” said Borek. “In that situation, I think we found ourselves some depth on the PK, which is a great sign.”