EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

February 23, 2013

Merrimack looking for seconds

NORTH ANDOVER — Until Christmas, if you’re weren’t named Mike Collins, you weren’t doing much scoring for Merrimack College.

At the team’s Christmas break, Collins lead the team with 19 points (9 goals, 10 assists), which was more than double everyone else on the team. He had scored more than 20 percent of the Warriors’ goals and was the only player with double-digit points.

Since the Warriors returned from their mini-vacation though, they’ve started to find goals from other sticks.

Collins still leads the team in scoring in the second half (16 points), but Brian Christie, a freshman who has been playing as Collins’ center, has 10 points since the start of the spring semester, as has junior Shawn Bates.

Bates has centered a second line — with sophomore Josh Myers on the right wing — that has become a formidable compliment to Collins’ top-end scoring touch.

“We both compliment each other with our speed,” said Bates, who along with Myers are two of the fastest skaters on the team. “After the break we came back hungry. We had one line, and really only one guy (Collins) producing, so we wanted to help out and we weren’t doing that in the first half. Getting away for a little bit for that break I think helped restart things for us.”

The line had been helped with the addition of Clayton Jardine, but he was injured in Sunday’s 2-2 tie with Providence after taking a leg-on-leg collision with Providence forward Shane Luke. Jardine is expected to miss a few weeks, at least, while be recuperates.

“It’s still wait and see,” Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy said of Jardine’s status. “He’s got some healing to do. We’ll know more in a week or two, once we retake some pictures and see where he is. He’s back to work now and his job is to get healthy. If in fact we do what we say we want to do, then there’s a lot of hockey left, so who knows, hopefully we can get him back and get ready to go.”

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