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Warriors stop skid, UNH wins fourth straight

After seven consecutive losses, the Merrimack men’s ice hockey team bounced back, earning a  2-1 victory over Providence Saturday night. It was freshman Brandon Brodhag who stepped up for his team and scored the game-winner in overtime against the Friars.

The Warriors (8-13-0, 5-9-0 Hockey East) took the lead at the 15 minute, four second mark in the first period. Adam Ross took the first shot, but was denied by Friars’ goalie Alex Beaudry. Carter Madsen was close behind and put the rebounded shot into the back of Providence’s net.

The Friars (9-13-1, 4-11-1 Hockey East) came back in the second period to even out the score at 1-1. Ian O’Connor scored for his team at the 15:49 mark when he took a rebounded Eric Baier shot and put it past goalkeeper Andrew Braithwaite.

Braithwaite made 34 saves for Merrimack, stopping Providence’s offense and keeping the score tied. Beaudry also stood strong in net, stopping 39 shots, 11 in the third period alone, to send the game into overtime. Beaudry’s performance for the Friars earned him co-honors of the Pure Hockey Defensive Player of the Week.

It took just over a minute into overtime for Brodhag to score the game-winning goal for the Warriors. Jesse Todd was credited with the assist that set up the goal, passing the puck to Pat Bowen who took the shot, but was stopped by Beaudry. Brodhag waited for the rebound and beat Beaudry to the puck, scoring his eighth goal of the season.

Merrimack’s defense clearly played a large role in the victory, keeping Providence’s leading scorer Matt Bergland away from the puck. The Friars also went 0-for-4 on power-play opportunities, something that could have sparked its offense.

The Warriors will next host the Hockey East leading New Hampshire on Friday.

Wildcats riding four-game winning streak

No. 16 UNH increased its fourth consecutive game winning streak with a victory over Boston University. Sophomore Damon Kipp and junior Mike Sislo contributed to the win with a goal and an assist each.

The Wildcats (12-7-2, 8-11-3 HE) struck first five minutes into play with a Mike Borisenok goal, assisted by Stevie Moses and Dalton Speelman.

They increased their lead to 2-0 in the second period with a Kipp goal from the right point, while Sislo and Peter LeBlanc were credited with the assists. With five minutes remaining in the second, Kipp and Phil DeSimone assisted Bobby Butler to score again for New Hampshire.

Butler leads UNH with 101 career points, along with 17 goals and 16 assists. He also is second in the conference in both categories, trailing behind Massachusetts wing James Marcou.

The Terriers lone goal came nine minutes into the third period, when Chris Connolly took advantage of a power play and put the puck past Wildcats’ goalie Brian Foster. Boston University had another six-on-three power play opportunity in the third, but they could not convert it into a goal.

UNH’s offensive attack was not over yet; with three minutes remaining in the game Sislo added a goal for the Wildcats, leading to their 4-1 victory.

Despite only scoring a single goal, the Terriers held a 35-32 shot advantage over New Hampshire.

Foster had a strong showing in net to help out his team, stopping 34 shots from BU’s offense. Foster is ranked in the top five in Hockey East with a 2.55 goals allowed average. With the loss, Grant Rollheiser falls to a negative 2-1-3 record while in net for Boston University.

Second period all the difference for UMass-Lowell

Two goals late in the third period gave UMass-Lowell a 3-1 victory over Boston College Saturday night at the Tsongas Arena.

After an inactive first period with no scoring from either team, the River Hawks (14-9-2, 8-6-2 Hockey East) came alive in the second period to take the 1-0 advantage, when Scott Campbell went unassisted down the ice to score his eighth goal of the season.

The Eagles (12-8-2, 9-6-2 Hockey East) had multiple opportunities to take the lead in the third period, including a Ben Smith goal that was nullified due to contact with his hand. However, Smith came back and put BC on the board eight minutes into the third with a goal assisted by Joe Whitney and Brian Gibbons.

Paul Worthington broke the tie for UMass-Lowell at the 12:57 mark, putting the puck past netminder John Muse. With three seconds remaining, the River Hawks ensured a victory with a goal from Kory Falite.

UMass-Lowell’s defense also played an important part in the game, stopping the Eagle’s main offensive threat, Cam Atkinson. Atkinson has 23 points for the season along with a team-leading 14 goals scored.

UMass-Lowell held a slight shot advantage of 29-26, along with goalie Carter Hutton saving 25 shots for the win. Hutton has had an impressive season in net, ranking No. 1 in the conference with a low 29 goals allowed.

Geena Lombardi can be reached at glombard@student.umass.edu.

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