BOSTON — Merrimack College defensemen are among the most fearless in the league, regularly dropping down to the ice to block rapidly approaching shots.
Last night was no different — the Warriors blocked a whopping 23 of Northeastern’s 48 shot attempts — only this defensive unit got offensive in the process.
Even including the empty-netter in the waning seconds, defensemen accounted for all five of the Warriors’ goals last night in a 5-2 win at Matthews Arena in Boston.
The Warriors improved to 3-3-1 on the season, bouncing back from a 3-2 loss in this very building last month.
Junior defensemen Brendan Ellis and Jordan Heywood (2 goals) each found the net while senior Kyle Bigos and Dan Kolomatis tacked on third-period goals.
Kolomatis netted an empty netter from behind his own goal line with 1:14 remaining, sending the puck the entire length (200 feet) of the ice sheet.
Defensemen now represent nearly one third of the team’s total goals through seven games, scoring seven of the Warriors’ 24 goals so far this season (29.2 percent).
“If you’re going to score, the way the game is played now as defensive as it is, your defensemen have to get into the rush,” Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy said. “I love defensemen who love the puck. We work on it a lot. That first goal by Jordan (Heywood) was great. He worked his tail off to get there. (Getting offense from the defensemen) is definitely part of what we do.”
Collins heats up
Mike Collins, a junior forward, figured to be a central piece of Merrimack’s offense this season. Suffice to say he hasn’t disappointed. Through seven games, Collins, who was Hockey East Player of the Week last week, leads the team in scoring with 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists). Including his three helpers in last night’s win, Collins has eight points (2 goals, 6 assists) in his last three games.