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Merrimack suffers setback against Colgate
NORTH ANDOVER — One night after Merrimack attacked Colgate with speed and transition to the tune of five goals, the Raiders clogged up the middle of the ice and made it difficult for the Warriors to get generate chances near the net front.
By doing so, the Raiders salvaged a split in the series with a 5-3 win over the Warriors at Lawler Arena on Saturday night.
“Disapointing result,” said Merrimack coach Scott Borek. “I was happy with the way we kept playing until the end, but I thought we played sporadically. It was a hard game. It was a physical game. Several times I thought I was watching a WWE match. But once the officials made the decision that the game would be allowed to be played like that, we had to stand up and play that way and we didn’t. So it was disappointing that we didn’t respond in a better way.”
Colgate took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Ben Raymond looked off his linemate and scored his first goal of the season at the 5:27 mark.
During a second-period power play, the Raiders were patient with the puck in the offensive zone (Jordan Seyfert was in the box for an elbowing minor). Merrimack did a nice job of keeping its penalty-kill box tight and protecting inside the dots but Colgate moved the puck around the perimeter which opened up lanes. After a shot from the point that sailed wide, even more space opened up and Alex Young rifled a one-timer past Hugo Ollas, taking a feed from his brother, Colton Young.
Then in the third period, the Raiders put the game away early. In the opening minute, Alex DiPaolo took a feed from Pierson Brandon in the slot and blasted a one-timer past a sprawling Ollas for a 3-0 lead.
But Merrimack had chances themselves. There were chances that sailed over the net from the slot and other pucks that were in the right spot, but the Warriors just couldn’t get that final stick on the puck to push it over the goal line.
“We had a lot of chances and they blocked a lot of shots,” Borek said. “We have to be better in situations like that. I blame myself for not having us prepared for that kind of hockey game. I don’t think we’ll see those kind of games in our league. It was a challenge and they did a good job of doing what they had to do to win a hockey game.”
Colgate made it 4-0 before the Warriors found the back of the net. On the power play, Ryan Leibold scored his first goal as a Warrior off a feed in front by Alex Jefferies. Matt Verboon scored an empty-net goal for Colgate at the 6:28 mark. One minute later, Filip Forsmark scored his first goal of the season to make the score 5-2.
Merrimack wasn’t done. Leibold crashed the net and banged in a rebound with 1:22 for his second of the game to make it 5-3, which is how the game ended.
“(Colgate) wasn’t as aggressive on the forecheck,” said Borek, “and I think that’s because we transitioned a lot on Friday night. They sat back more and we got impatient and started sending several players up ice.”
Next up for Merrimack is a home-and-home series with UMass, the defending Hockey East champions. The Warriors will travel to UMass on Friday night (7 p.m.) and the series will shift to Lawler Arena next Saturday at 7 p.m.
Warriors will know more on Borgiel this week
Goaltender Zachary Borgiel, who made 21 saves on Friday night to secure a shutout, was scratched from the lineup on Saturday night. Hugo Ollas, who made the start, was likely scheduled to start anyhow (the Warriors have rotated goalies thus far), but Borgiel was not dressed and available off the bench.
“We’re not sure how that’s looking,” Borek said. “We’re hopeful that it’s nothing big but we have to figure it out on Monday.”
Ed. Note — Portions of this story will appear in Sunday’s edition of The Eagle Tribune
Colgate 5, Merrimack 3 at Lawler Arena Colgate (2-4-0): 1-1-3--5 Merrimack (3-2-0): 0-0-3--3 First Period: 1. CU Ben Raymond 1 (Alex DiPaolo, Ross Mitton), ev, 14:33. Second Period: 2. CU Alex Young 2 (Colton Young, Matt Verboon) pp, 10:18. Third Period: 3. CU Alex DiPaolo 2 (Pierson Brandon), ev, 0:59; 4. CU Nick Anderson 1 (Daniel Panetta, Sebastian, Tamburro), ev, 9:22; 5. MC Ryan Leibold 1 (Alex Jefferies, Will Calverly), pp, 12:30; 6. CU Matt Verboon 2 (Ross Mitton, Nick Belpedio), en, 13:32; 7. MC Filip Forsmark 1 (Zach Bookman, Ben Brar), ev, 14:40; 8. MC Ryan Leibold 2 (Ben Brar, Mac Welsher), ea, 18:38. Shots: MC 9-11-18--38; CU 10-7-6--23 Saves: MC Ollas (53:44) 18/22; CU Gylander (60:00) 35/38 Power Play: MC 1 for 3; CU 1 for 3 Penalties: MC 5-10:00; CU 5-10:00 Faceoffs 38-25 Merrimack Attendance: 2,031 (2,549)