Merrimack's early lead slip away in 4-1 loss to Northeastern
NORTH ANDOVER — For the fifth time this season, Merrimack watched its lead slip away after scoring the game's first goal in a 4-1 loss to Northeastern on Saturday night at Lawler Arena.
The Warriors scored first in the second period when Ty Daneault hammered a one-timer from the left circle for his 10th goal of the season. Daneault's goal came on the power play.
At the midpoint of the second period Alex Campbell tied the game. Then just 1:13 later, Jackson Dorrington gave the Huskies a 2-1 lead and they never looked back.
"We were playing really hard and we were heavy," Merrimack coach Scott Borek Borek said. "We were a little light on one shift and they scored. That was frustrating. After that I thought we came back fairly well and the second one, it's one of those things that when things aren't going well, they tend to really not go well. But I thought we played really hard. I didn't think the score was indicative of the game."
It was Merrimack's fifth loss of the season when scoring the first goal of the game (7-5).
Merrimack has lost four in a row and five of their last six.
This is Merrimack's longest losing streak of the season. It's their longest losing streak since Oct. 2021, when they lost four straight.
The Warriors dropped to No. 31 in the Pairwise. Northeastern also passed the Warriors in the Hockey East standings. Merrimack dropped to 10th place after the weekend.
"I'm comfortable with the way we played and I tried to get [the players] to focus on that," Borek said. "I really liked our push and I told them that I thought we took a positive step. But they don't want to listen to that right now. I think they just want to get this behind them and get ready to go on Monday. It's tough for our group of guys in the situation we're in, and we don't have a lot of healthy bodies, so that makes it tougher."
The Warriors dressed eight defensemen and only 11 forwards, but Borek said postgame that decision was not due to roster health. Merrimack has several players on the injured list, including Alex Jefferies, Chase Stevenson, Tyler Young, and Mike Brown.
Defensemen Christian Felton and Zach Bookman even skated some shifts at center.
"That was a coach's decision," Borek said. "We had to play a certain group of guys. That was the decision and it wasn't against anyone else or for anyone else, it just was what it was. It's what I thought we needed to play our best. ... Frankly, all of the defensemen deserved some ice over the last couple of weeks."
NOTES: Merrimack went 27-40 on faceoffs. ... Justin Hryckowian went 20-5 on faceoffs for Northeastern. ...
NEXT: Merrimack will host UMass on Friday night at Lawler Arena. It will be the rubber match of the season series after the teams split a weekend home-and-home series on Jan. 12-13.