Merrimack junior Mike Collins scored twice and added an assist in Saturday's win. - Walter Rossini

Merrimack vs. Maine: Warriors open three-game head-to-head stretch with 6-0 win

In its first of three consecutive games against Maine, Merrimack cruised to a 6-0 win on Saturday night to earn two crucial Hockey East points. Video and feature story on the recent history of the head-to-head series to come on Sunday.

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For Warriors, three with Maine has HE playoff feel

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Playing at Alfond Arena is always a challenge, and if any Hockey East team knows anything about road games in Orono, it is the Merrimack Warriors.

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Merrimack vs. Maine final score: Warriors, 6-0

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- Domination.

That was the name of the game on Saturday night for the Merrimack Warriors as they cruised to a 6-0­­ victory over the visiting Maine Black Bears in the first of three consecutive meetings between the teams in Hockey East play. With their third win in the last four conference games, dating back to Dec. 1, 2012 at Providence, the hosts jumped back over .500 in the league with a 6-5-1 record.

Junior Sam Marotta was stellar between the pipes for the Warriors as he stopped all 30 shots he faced en route to the team’s first shutout of the season.

After coming in to replace junior Martin Ouellette early in the second period, rookie Matt Morris of the Black Bears was rarely tested, but he allowed junior assistant captain Brendan Ellis to snap a one-time shot over his blocker side shoulder at the 9:03 mark.

Sophomore Connor Toomey, who also scored a goal in last Saturday's 4-1 win at Vermont, started the play with the feed to the top of the left circle for Ellis' third goal of the year and second in three games.

Joshua Kummins covers Hockey East for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Merrimack vs. Maine update: Warriors 5-0 after 2

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- After falling behind by two goals in the final stages of the first period, Maine's hole fell even deeper after the second as Merrimack added three more for a commanding 5-0 lead at Lawler Arena. Despite dominating the scoreboard, Merrimack had a shots on goal disadvantage for the second straight period, 14-11.

Just 1:58 into the stanza, Maine junior goalie Martin Ouellette lost sight of a loose puck behind him in the crease during a net-mouth scramble, but after it came loose, Merrimack senior John Heffernan cut across the offensive zone and tapped it in for his third goal of the season.

At 6:11, rookie Vinny Scotti also posted his third of the season as he fired a low backhander into the back of the net, ending Ouellette's night early (after making 13 saves on 17 shots in 26:11).

Junior Mike Collins posted his second tally of the game with 80 seconds left, capping off a power-play cycle with a tap-in past Maine rookie reliever Matt Morris.

Joshua Kummins covers Hockey East for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Merrimack vs. Maine score update: Warriors 2-0

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- Junior Mike Collins has been impressive for the Merrimack Warriors all season long and his stellar scoring output continued on Saturday as he posted a goal and an assist to lift the hosts to a 2-0 lead after one period over the Maine Black Bears.

Despite the comfortable lead after 20 minutes, MC is just 5-4-2 when it takes an advantage into the locker room for the first intermission. On the fiip side, Maine has two wins and five losses when trailing.

Each team took ten shots on goal, but Merrimack junior Sam Marotta - a Bridgewater, Mass. native - made stops on each of the chances he faced.

After a very fast-moving ten-plus minutes, the Warriors jumped ahead at 15:06 as Collins streaked through the offensive zone and followed up an assist from sophomore Dan Kolomatis with a rebound past Maine's Martin Ouellette.

With 47 seconds remaining, Collins made a beautiful tape-to-tape pass to sophomore Quinn Gould for the top-shelf wrister.

Joshua Kummins covers Hockey East for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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'Mack vs. Maine: Key HE points at stake in Lawler

The Merrimack Warriors and Maine Black Bears meet up at Lawler Arena on Saturday night in the first of a three-game Hockey East series, which continues next weekend in Orono.

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