Merrimack bounces back, beats BC
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Merrimack head coach Scott Borek said that his players took Friday's loss to Boston College personally.
The Warriors went into Saturday's contest with something to prove, and prove something they did.
Filip Forsmark's goal with just 3:57 left on the clock in the third period was the game-winner for the Warriors, who skated out of Conte Forum with a 4-3 win on Saturday. It was only Merrimack's 10th win at Conte Forum in program history.
There were signs that Saturday was just Merrimack's day.
Hugo Esselin and Filip Karlsson-Tagtstrom had not played all season before they made their season debuts on Saturday. Both players scored a goal ... in the first period.
"I was proud of the way we bounced back after (Friday)," said Borek. "We had two guys who had not played all year, who played their first games of the year, and they both scored. It was a special win because of that. Yesterday was the first time all year I thought we were controlled physically. I wasn't sure we'd have the energy to come back today and compete but we did."
Merrimack finished the first 10 games of its top-heavy schedule 4-4-0-2. Now, they have a chance to separate themselves in the standings.
After the stretch, which saw Merrimack open the Hockey East schedule against Providence, Massachusetts, BU, and BC, the Warriors next four games are against opponents whose record is a combined 3-27-5. Merrimack travels to Maine (0-7-1) for a pair of games next weekend, and while Maine's record isn't impressive, Alfond Arena is always a tough place to play.
"We've had a tough six-game stretch but we got better in each series," said Borek. "I loved our answer today. Every weekend in Hockey East is a war. Our team is gaining confidence. Before, I don't think we would have had the bounce-back we had today. I'm proud of our leadership."
Merrimack outshot BC 15-5 in the first period. The win marked only the 10th time that Merrimack has beaten BC at Conte Forum and this season is the first one in three years where Merrimack has beaten BC and BU in the same season.
"It was a great bench tonight," Borek said. "We haven't had any bad benches but it was a great bench tonight. We stayed positive the entire night."
Hugo Ollas made 30 saves for his first collegiate win.
Merrimack 4, Boston College 3
at Conte Forum
Merrimack College (4-4-0-2): 2-1-1—4
Boston College (5-4-1-0): 1-2-0—3
First Period: 1. MC Ben Brar (Max Newton, Declan Carlile), pp, 11:02; 2. BC Marc McLaughlin (Mitch Andres), ev, 13:43; 3. MC Hugo Esselin (Christian Felton, Jake Durflinger), ev, 16:20.
Second Period. 4. MC Filip Karlsson Tagtstrom (Jordan Seyfert, Logan Drevitch), ev, 4:08; 5. BC Marc McLaughin (Brandon Kruse, Jack St. Ivany), pp, 11:06; 6. BC Trevor Kuntar (unassisted), ev, 13:15.
Third Period: 7. MC Filip Forsmark (Filip Karlsson-Tagtstrom, Liam Walsh), ev, 16:03.
Shots: Merrimack 15-6-5—26; Boston College 5-13-12—30
Saves: MC Ollas (60:00) 27 of 30; BC Dop (58:36) 22 of 26
Power Play: Merrimack 1 for 3; Boston College 1 for 2
Penalties: Merrimack 4-8:00; Boston College 5-10:00