EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 6, 2013

Warriors bounce back at Vermont

Start new year with a pivotal victory

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — BURLINGTON, Vt. — Merrimack College’s hockey team made a return trip to Vermont a successful one yesterday.

One week after failing to notch a win at the Catamount Tournament, the Warriors skated to a pivotal 4-1 Hockey East victory over Vermont.

The Warriors used two first period goals and two third period goals to finish off the season series win over the Catamounts.

Merrimack (7-8-4, 5-4-1 HEA) will return home for two games next weekend, playing host to Boston University Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Maine on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Warriors now sit in fifth place in the Hockey East standings with one game in hand on Providence for the fourth spot.

Merrimack scored the first goal of the game just over eight minutes into the opening period as Connor Toomey found the loose puck in front of Brodie Hoffman after a Mike Collins shot was blocked by the defense. Collins and Brian Christie picked up the assists on Toomey’s third marker of the season.

The Warriors extended their lead to two at the 12:31 mark of the first as Kyle Singleton walked in on a two-on-one and roofed the puck for the game-winner and his third goal of the season. The assists on the goal went to Tom McCarthy and Justin Hussar.

With just over a minute to play in the first period, the Warriors took two penalties on the same play to set up a 5 on 3 advantage for the Catamounts but Merrimack escaped the two man advantage.

With 13:42 to play in the second, the Catamounts got on the board as Jacob Fallon picked up his sixth goal of the season on the power play on a rebound effort to beat the sprawling Sam Marotta.

After skating 4 on 4 for just over a minute, Merrimack finally got through with a power play goal as Christie followed up a Collins shot and knocked the puck into the net past Hoffman. Collins picked up his second assist on the night and 12th of the season.

The Warriors put the game out of reach with 4:09 to play in the game as Ellis buried the puck behind the Vermont goalie after a pass from Shawn Bates.

Marotta finished the game with 23 saves in his fourth win of the season while Hoffman made 19 saves in the losing effort.

Merrimack improves to 4-1-2 leading after one period and 5-1-0 when leading after two periods while Vermont falls to 0-9-1 when trailing after two.

The Warriors also improve to 9-0-3 over last 12 games with the Catamounts including 4-0-2 at Gutterson Field House.