NORTH ANDOVER — A little over one week ago, in this same building, Merrimack College beat Boston College in overtime. This time, it was the Eagles’ turn.
A Patrick Brown shot with just over 2:37 to play in the extra session was stopped by Merrimack goalie Sam Marotta, deflecting it away with his right pad. But, a defensive-zone error left Quinn Smith wide open to pounce on the rebound, giving the Eagles a 2-1 win here at Lawler Arena.
Smith was left open after two Merrimack defenders tried to crash on the puck and were taken out of the play by BC’s Brooks Dyroff, who was charging towards the crease, looking for the rebound. That allowed the puck to land softly on Smith’s stick and he found an opening past Marotta, who was sprawled on the ice trying to get across the crease for the save.
“We didn’t mark a guy,” Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy explained. “We went to the puck instead of neutralizing the player. It’s hard to be disciplined in that area, but if you aren’t, it can end up in the back of the net, like it did right there to us.”
Merrimack had a golden opportunity in the third period thanks to a 5-on-3 power play after both Patrick Wey and Steven Whitney were whistled for infractions. But, Merrimack couldn’t convert and after the 5-on-3 advantage, had trouble finding the offensive zone, so BC’s high-pressure penalty kill kept the puck pinned down the other end of the ice.
“We had one good look,” Dennehy said. “We weren’t executing. The puck wasn’t zipping around. Their penalty kill was excellent, but we had an unforced error on that 5-on-3, put it right on their guy’s stick, and that’s unacceptable. That’s not being thorough. It’s signs we were not completely locked in.”