Merrimack 4, New Hampshire 1
The Merrimack Warriors pulled off a very crucial season series victory in Hockey East on Saturday night, using a hot hand in goal en route to an impressive 4-1 win over the No. 3/4 New Hampshire Wildcats at Whittemore Center Arena. Junior Sam Marotta made a career-high 51 saves between the pipes for the Warriors as he completed a weekend sweep, which begun with a 1-0 shutout of UMass-Lowell on Friday. Merrimack improved to 10-6-2 in conference play with the victory and leapfrogs over Boston University for sole possession of third place. Junior Shawn Bates paced the offense with a career-best two goals, both coming in the first half of regulation and assisted by rookie Clayton Jardine and sophomore Josh Myers. Additionally, junior Mike Collins returned to the scoresheet, posting an empty-net goal and an assist on five shots on UNH sophomore Casey DeSmith (20 saves). For the Wildcats, junior Jeff Silengo posted his second goal of the season at 12:52 of the second period, but it was not nearly enough as they fell to Merrimack for the eighth time in five seasons. 16 of the last 18 regular-season meetings between the teams in the regular season, including the matches on each of the last two Saturdays, were decided by a single goal or less. Merrimack improved to 10-4-3 on the year when scoring the first goal of the game and 22-1-2 when leading after two periods over the last two seasons.
Joshua Kummins covers Hockey East for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.