EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 12, 2013

BU sinks Merrimack

By Mike McMahon
sports@eagletribune.com

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — It’s been like sharing a box of Forrest Gump’s chocolate, because night to night, Merrimack College just isn’t sure what it’s going to get.

After scoring four goals in a wire-to-wire dominating performance over Vermont last weekend, the Warriors potted just a single goal on 39 shots in a 4-1 loss to Boston University last night at Lawler Arena.

Prior to the win over Vermont, Merrimack scored a single goal in a loss to Union, a pair in a tie with Princeton and four goals the game before that beating Army, but didn’t score more than twice in the five games previous to that.

“I didn’t think we worked hard enough in the first period and in the second and third we did,” said Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy.

“We had plenty of chances but I didn’t get the sense that we were ready for them. We didn’t make strong, confident plays until the third period.”

It was a bit of redemption for the Terriers, who blew a three-goal lead to Harvard on Wednesday, losing 6-5 in overtime. After the game, Parker said it was “as disappointed he was in a BU hockey team in a long, long time.”

“What a difference two days make,” Parker said.

“We played the right way tonight. We competed hard and we played a team that is hard to beat at home, and we certainly respected our opponent, and we were ready to play. ... It was a huge win for us in a lot of ways.”

The Warriors attempted 83 shots on net, but couldn’t beat BU goaltender Sean Maguire more than once, including a pair of hit posts. The Terriers rattled three pucks off the post.

For Merrimack junior winger Mike Collins, the game snapped a streak of 10 straight Hockey East games with a point to start the season.

“I didn’t think that (Collins’) line was very good tonight,” Dennehy said.

“Their best line was their best line and I don’t think ours was, but I don’t think that was Mikey in particular. He’s been our best forward all year long and we need him to play his best if we’re going to do what we think we’re capable of doing.”

Kurker gets physical

Reading native and former St. John’s Prep forward Sam Kurker returned to Lawler Arena for the second time since guiding the Eagles in last season’s Super 8 Tournament.

“I thought he was really physical tonight,” Parker said.

“He and (Matt) Lane, the two wings on that line, played really physical tonight. They got pucks to the net and banged some guys. When Sam is physical, he is an important player for us. But when he goes that, he’s a better player for himself. (Kurker) was very noticeable in both ends of the rink.”

Bigos sets pair of PIM records

Merrimack senior defenseman Kyle Bigos set a pair of career penalty minute records last night.

In the first period, a pair of minors for slashing and hitting after the whistle brought his career total to 403, breaking the Merrimack record held by Tom Costa.

Later in the third period, a 2-minute minor for roughing along with a 10-minute misconduct for wrestling on the ice with Kurker brought him to 415, breaking the Hockey East record of 406 held by former Northeastern forward Rico Rossi.

“A third of those won’t be penalties at the next level,” Dennehy said.

“I’ve talked with Edmonton, and they love his physicality.”

Bigos also scored a goal in the third period, firing a slapshot from the point that beat Maguire for the only Merrimack goal of the night.

Bigos also led the Warriors with six shots on goal and was one of just two players, along with his defensive partner Justin Mansfield, who finished with a plus rating on the night.

Boston University 4,

Merrimack College 1

agateText:at J. Thom Lawler Arena

Boston University (12-7-0, 9-4-0 HE): 1-2-1–4

Merrimack College (7-9-4, 5-5-1 HE): 0-0-1–1

First Period: 1. BU Wade Megan 11 (unassisted), sh, 12:20.

Second Period: 2. BU Shair Gill 4 (Alexx Privitera, Sean Escobedo), ev, 3:51; 3. BU Cason Hohmann 6 (Wade Megan, Garrett Noonan), ev, 14:29.

Third Period: 4. BU Matt Nieto 5 (Evan Rodrigues, Danny O’Regan), ev, 10:23; 5. MC Kyle Bigos 3 (John Gustafsson, Quinn Gould), ev, 13:38.

Shots: Merrimack 14-15-9–38; Boston Univ. 13-6-5–24

Saves: MC Tirronen 24 shots, 20 saves; BU Maguire 38 shots, 37 saves

Power Play: Merrimack 0 for 3 (8 shots); Boston Univ. 0 for 2 (2 shots)

Penalties: Merrimack 6-20; Boston Univ. 7-22

Faceoffs: 41-31 Merrimack

Attendance: 2,489 (2,489)

Next: Hosts Maine tonight, 7