The final score showed a Boston College 4-3 victory over Merrimack College in overtime. The score is deceiving because the Eagles faced a tougher and more defensive Merrimack tonight. The Warriors put up a fight and forced the Eagles to decide the contest in overtime.
“The game was played in a tighter area and Merrimack stayed back,â€ BC coach Jerry York said. â€œThey had good goaltending and were tough to penetrate. Our guys hung in there. There was not too much flow to the game, but we grinded pretty low.”
The scoring started early tonight and this time it was the Warriors who were struck first, scoring in the opening frame. A shot from the left circle off the stick of Merrimack’s Karl Stollery was stuffed home by Rob Ricci like there was no tomorrow at 4:23. This goal got the home crowd going.
Sure enough three minutes later Boston College showed how well they can execute on the power play. The Eagles were running the puck in the offensive zone with crisp passes then Andrew Orpik took a quick shot from the point. The puck was initially grabbed, but bobbled for an instant and that was when Freshman Paul Carey poked the puck in just behind Cannata.
On the next possession, Merrimack found themselves in a 2 on 1 situation. The initial shot from Joe Cucci was deflected by John Muse, but Pat Kimball followed the puck hard to the net and put the Warriors back on top 2-1.
All of this happened in the first period. In the second, from a face off Tommy Cross quickly collected the puck and rifled a shot on net. The shot then became a rebound for Kyle Kucharski who was posted down in front of the net and beat Cannata on a rebound to score Boston College’s second power play goal of the night.
The rest of the middle frame was back and forth play for both teams. As the period was winding down Pat Kimball went coast to coast down the ice, but his first shot was unsuccessful. On the next offensive rush he got a pass from Jesse Todd and Kimball quickly wristed the puck top shelf over John Muse’s shoulder. Pat Kimball had two goals in tonight’s game and one last night against the Eagles. He commented that his line has a lot of chemistry and has been capitalizing on their opportunities while out on the ice.
Heading into the third period, the score was 3-2 in Merrimack’s favor. A power-play goal by Brock Bradford tied the game up. The puck was being traded back and forth between Brian Gibbons and Benn Ferriero. Finally Gibbons chose to take a shot from the right wing. The puck was deflected to the left side where Brock Bradford was waiting to snap it into the back of the net at 10:09. The rest of the period was a battle and the game went to overtime.
In the third period, Boston College turned their play up to another level by outshooting Merrimack, 18-5.
With 1:33 left in the extra period, Boston College captain Brock Bradford got a pass from Brian Gibbons out in front of the net. Bradford wasted no time sending the puck home for his second goal of the night to give the Eagles a 4-3 overtime win against the Merrimack Warriors.
â€œThe team that played tonight was the team that I have seen in practice,â€ observed Merrimack Head Coach Mark Dennehy. â€œWe played harder and played up to the competition.”
Boston College’s next game will be against Norte Dame on November 7 while Merrimack will play the University of Massachusetts a day later.