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December 8, 2013

College Hockey: Warriors take three of four points from BU

BOSTON — After a sluggish start to the season, Merrimack College showed signs of life over the weekend against Boston University, beating the Terriers on Friday night and settling for a 1-1 tie on the road last night at Agganis Arena.

The Warriors fell behind just over a minute into the game when Evan Rodrigues turned a bad Warrior turnover into an odd-man chance in the offensive zone, finding space behind Merrimack goaltender Rasmus Tirronen, who was making his fourth consecutive start for the Warriors.

“It was a backhand pass we made in the middle of the ice instead of just putting it off the glass,” Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy said. “Coming out of your own zone you can’t turn it over in the middle of the ice.”

The Warriors responded at the 5:53 mark of the second period when 6-foot-4 freshman winger Chris LeBlanc scored the equalizer.

“It was a good weekend for us,” Dennehy said. “It’s a positive.”

The Warriors outshot the Terriers 39-24 and at one point in the second period, owned a 27-4 advantage in shots on goal, out-muscling the Terriers at nearly every turn.

“We had the puck,” Dennehy said. “We established our forecheck and we created some offensive chances.”

Added BU head coach Dave Quinn, “We’re not a big, strong team and they’re a strong, older team.”

The Warriors have finally found a rhythm — which might make this not the best time for a nearly one-month break — but they’re also healed up.

Last night was the first time all season Brian Christie, Mike Collins and Brendan Ellis were all in the lineup for the Warriors. Collins is the Warriors’ top-line left wing and Christie has centered Merrimack’s first and second lines most of his short career. Ellis is one of Merrimack’s top defenseman and arguably their best with the puck.

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