SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Trailing by two goals early in the second period, Merrimack roared back to earn a 2-2 overtime tie with No. 3 Notre Dame.
Midway through the second period, junior Clayton Jardine scored his first goal since Nov. 23, 2011 to cut the margin to 2-1. Merrimack pulled the goalie then sophomore Vinny Scotti stunned the partisan crowd at the Compton Family Ice Arena by scoring the equalizer with 1:09 left in regulation.
Scotti’s goal was on a rebound on the weak side of the crease. He scored on a wide-open net from the left side.
Merrimack improved to 3-6-1 and earned its first Hockey East point (0-3-1). Notre Dame, which is ranked No. 3 in one poll and No. 4 in another, is now 8-3-1 and 2-1-1.
The Irish outshot Merrimack by a 25-12 margin after two periods of play, but the scrappy visitors had a 14-6 advantage in the third.
Notre Dame goalie Steven Summerhays had 25 saves and Merrimack’s Rasmus Tirronen had 30 with his biggest stops of the night coming in the final minute of regulation.
Notre Dame finished 1-for-6 on the power play, while Merrimack came up empty on its two man-advantages of the evening.
Junior Justin Mansfield helped set up Jardine’s goal after picking up a loose puck on an entry feed from Jardine and shoveling it back along the half wall, leading to the deflected slap shot and the Warriors’ first goal.
The Warriors continue Hockey East action next weekend with a home-and-home series against No. 18 Northeastern, starting on Friday night at Lawler Rink and concluding Saturday at Matthews Arena. Both start times are set for 7 p.m.