NORTH ANDOVER — Merrimack College head coach Mark Dennehy has said he wanted his team to be on the attack more.
Last night here at Lawler Arena, the Warriors beat Army, 4-2, on the heels of 46 shots on goal and a whopping 94 shot attempts.
But that doesn’t mean it came easily.
The Warriors, who took a two-goal lead on tallies by Justin Hussar and Shawn Bates, saw it evaporate in the third period.
Army’s Mac Lalor — a defenseman who was playing his first game at forward — struck for two power-play goals in 36 seconds to tie the score.
”Up to this point, it was the hardest game of the year,” Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy said. “It’s a non-conference game, everyone’s thinking about finals and everyone’s thinking about Christmas and I know that these young men from West Point are going to come in and play their tails off.”
But the Warriors were able to get one more.
Just 2:16 after Army tied the game, Hussar took a shot that sailed wide. It re-directed off the backboards and on to Vinny Scotti’s stick at the bottom of the left circle. The freshman, from a bad angle, fired the puck barely inside the right post to give the Warriors back a lead they would not relinquish.
”We shrunk the rink quite a bit and we moved the puck well,” Dennehy said. “I like how we played. The first period definitely jumpstarted us. We were definitely ready to go. Now, they also drove up here (yesterday) and that isn’t easy, but we had to play hard.
”They tie it up because, thankfully, for our country, these guys don’t quit, they keep battling, and we knew they would. But even when they tied it 2-2, there was still a level of confidence on our bench and a level of determination that hasn’t been there all year long. Those types of games are good for us.”