Instead of deteriorating, Tirronen flourished as the game progressed, not allowing a goal in the final 51 minutes and stopping the last 29 shots that came his way.
“He did a tremendous job,” said junior captain Jordan Heywood. “I’m sure he was pretty nervous, naturally, but he battled back and showed a lot of mental toughness.”
The Warriors are idle for nine days before traveling to Alaska to play Fairbanks and Alaska Anchorage on Oct. 19 and 20.
“Hockey is an honest game, that’s what makes it great,” Dennehy said. “If you don’t put in a full 60 minutes then you get what you deserve. That’s a good lesson for us.”
What you want in a leader: Merrimack captain Jordan Heywood, when asked what he chalked up the lackluster start to, immediately put it on himself, saying, “leadership.”
“We were probably overconfident after Union and we just have to make sure we practice hard every time we step on the ice and stick to our game.”
A junior captain — wearing the lone “C” no less — is rare breed.
Getting to the cage: The Warriors mustered just five shots in the first period (outshot 16-5) before outshooting Northeastern 29-18 in the second and third periods combined.
“There were times when I thought we held onto the puck waiting for something better and the way the game is played today you can’t do that,” Dennehy said. “You wait a half a second and someone is in that shooting lane.”
Northeastern 4, Merrimack 2
Merrimack (1-1-0): 0-2-0–2
Northeastern (1-0-0): 3-0-1–4
First Period: 1. NU Garrett Vermeersch 1 (Colton Saucermann, Vinny Saponari), ev, 0:53; 2. NU Joseph Manno 1 (Kevin Roy, Ryan Belonger), ev, 4:57; 3. NU Kevin Roy 1 (Vinny Saponari, Adam Reid), pp, 8:33.
Second Period: 4. MC Quinn Gould 1 (John Heffernan, Justin Hussar), ev, 4:20; 5. MC Justin Mansfield 1 (Connor Toomey, Josh Myers), pp, 15:08.
Third Period: 6. NU Robbie Vrolyk 1 (unassisted), sh (eng), 19:02
Shots: Merrimack 5-13-16–34; Northeastern 16-8-10–34
Saves: MC Tirronen (0-1-0) 13-8-9--30; NU Rawlings (1-0-0) 5-11-16--32
Power Play: Merrimack 1 for 8 (6 shots, 9:08 total time); Northeastern 1 for 6 (11 shots, 7:23 total time)
Penalties: Merrimack 7-14; Northeastern 8-16
Next: at Alaska Fairbanks Oct. 19