Observations from Alfond: Merrimack, Maine tie 1-1

Merrimack and Maine skated to a 1-1 tie Friday night at Alfond Arena in Orono. The two teams traded chances, including some squandered opportunities, but the inability for either team to finish and some solid goaltending kept the game even.

Merrimack and Maine skated to a 1-1 tie Friday night at Alfond Arena in Orono. The two teams traded chances, including some squandered opportunities, but the inability for either team to finish and some solid goaltending kept the game even.

Dan Kolomatis sniped one top shelf at the end of a largely ineffective power play for Merrimack at the 3:16 mark of the second period. The score would stay 1-0 Merrimack until Maine capitalized on a power play midway through the third period. Kyle Beattie banged one past Merrimack goaltender Sam Marotta after a rush up ice that was started by Maine goalie Martin Ouellette.

Here's five observations from Friday's game:

1. Merrimack's offense has been shockingly inconsistent. The team is very young, and lacks a lot of the talent that made the Warriors an upper half team the past two seasons. Mark Dennehy's team can skate with any team in the league and has some guys with real good speed, but lacks finishers. That inability to bury chances will keep the Warriors out of the fourth or fifth seeds when the playoffs start.

2. Joey Diamond clearly misses Brian Flynn and Spencer Abbott, but he is still the best play maker the Black Bears have. Opposing teams know they can take him off his game by getting under his skin, causing him to retaliate or focus on things other than scoring. Diamond needs to stay out of the penalty box and focus on scoring if the Black Bears have any chance of climbing out of the basement.

3. It is too bad that Maine is having such a bad year because freshman defenseman Ben Hutton is quietly putting up a solid season. He is a smooth skating defender who can transition the puck up ice well. His one weakness is his occasional careless play with the puck. He is tied for the team lead in scoring by a defenseman with two goals and five assists. The Vancouver draft pick has the best plus/minus of all the Maine blueliners and is tied for the team lead with Stu Higgins at -1.

4. Friday night marked the first time all year a Merrimack goaltender has started two games in a row. Coming off a 30 save shutout last Saturday night, Sam Marotta made 31 saves on 32 shots, preserving the tie. The Bridgewater, MA native is quietly putting up very good numbers, now with a 2.04 GAA and a .928 save percentage. It will be interesting to see if the rotation continues or if Dennehy rides the hot hand.

5. With the exceptions of two rough outings against Cornell and Merrimack, Maine junior goaltender Martin Ouellette has given Maine a chance to win a lot of games since taking over as the number one goaltender. He made some good saves in traffic Friday night, keeping the Warriors from finding the back of twine more than once. The Columbus draft pick is finally showing signs of why the Blue Jackets drafted him out of Kimball Union Academy.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation College Hockey

You must be a member of SB Nation College Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation College Hockey. You should read them.

Join SB Nation College Hockey

You must be a member of SB Nation College Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation College Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker