NORTH ANDOVER — It took almost every second of last night’s 65 minutes to decide an outcome between Merrimack College and Boston College at J. Thom Lawler Arena. In the end, it was the Warriors who jumped over the Eagles into first place in Hockey East, beating BC 2-1 in overtime off the stick of sophomore forward Connor Toomey.
Toomey’s goal was set up off a shot from the point by Jordan Heywood. The play, drawn up on the Merrimack bench by associate head coach Glenn Stewart during a timeout, worked to perfection, and Toomey rifled the rebound over a sprawling Parker Milner.
As he did, the roof nearly blew off Lawler Arena.
“It was something Coach Stewart drew up for the power play,” Toomey said. “It was a nice shot from (Heywood), and it was just sitting there for me. It’s a good feeling to work all 60-plus minutes and get the W.”
The Eagles struck first at the 8:58 mark of the second period. Quinn Smith jammed a loose puck under Merrimack goaltender Sam Marotta (39 saves) as he was stretched out face first on the ice trying desperately to cover it for a whistle.
Originally, the play was called no goal before a video review reversed the call.
Minutes later, Merrimack junior Shawn Bates entered the offensive zone and unleashed a wrister that clanged off metal behind Milner before taking an odd bounce out from behind him. At the next whistle, the officials declined to go to review, drawing venom from the Merrimack faithful.
But, per NCAA rules, it would have been the Merrimack bench that needed to request the play be looked at, and the Warriors would have needed to call a timeout to do so.
Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy declined to send the play upstairs. Upon further review in the press box, it was a good thing he didn’t — the puck appeared to ring off the inside of the post, but never crossed the goal line.