McDonough's last-second goal clinches title, drops Merrimack to 6th
NORTH ANDOVER — Aidan McDonough’s goal with 9.6 seconds left in regulation gave the Huskies a 1-0 win and clinched a regular-season championship for Northeastern.
Merrimack, which would have finished fourth in Hockey East had the game gone to overtime, instead finished in sixth place and will host Maine in a Hockey East first-round playoff game on Wednesday night at Lawler Arena.
“I give Merrimack a lot of credit,” said Northeastern head coach Jerry Keefe. “They played really well tonight. That was a heck of a hockey game. Both teams competed really hard. You had to work for every inch that you had and we’re fortunate to get that one play there at the end of the game. It was a huge play by Jack Hughes and a big-time shot with nine seconds to go from (McDonough) to win a championship.”
Merrimack goaltender Hugo Ollas made 27 saves. Northeastern goalie Devon Levi made 29 saves for his 10th shutout of the season.
McDonough’s goal was his 23rd of the season, which ranks him third in the nation this season.
The loss marked the first time Merrimack has been shutout in a game since Nov. 29, 2019, when the Warriors were blanked by Penn State, a span of 71 games.
Northeastern 1, Merrimack 0 at Lawler Arena Northeastern (24-11-1): 0-0-1--1 Merrimack (18-14-1): 0-0-0--0 First Period: None. Second Period: None. Third Period: 1. NU Aidan McDonough 23 (Jack Hughes), ev, 19:51. Shots: Merrimack 10-11-8--29; Northeastern 12-6-10--28 Saves: MC Ollas (59:51) 27/28; NU Levi (60:00) 29/30) Power Play: Merrimack 0 for 0; Northeastern 0 for 1 Penalties: Merrimack 6-12:00; Northeastern 5-10:00 Attendance: 2,549