NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — Maine dropped a 7-1 decision at Merrimack on Saturday afternoon. The Black Bears fall to 9-6-4 on the season and 6-4-2 in Hockey East play, while Merrimack improves to 10-4-4 overall and 6-4-3 in conference play. Robby Dee (Plymouth, Minn..) scored Maine’s lone goal.
The Black Bears struck first just 4:11 into the first period with a five-on-three tally. Spencer Abbott (Hamilton, Ontario) had the puck on the goal line and passed to Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) on the opposite side of the goal. Nyquist found Robby Dee (Plymouth, Minn) skating down the slot and gave him the puck. Dee beat Merrimack goalie Joe Cannata for his ninth goal of the season.
Merrimack tied the game at 1-1 with a power play goal at 12:02. Joe Cucci had a shot and the puck deflected off the stick of a Maine defender, past goalie Martin Ouellette (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec) and into the back of the net. The Warriors took the lead just 42 seconds later when Shawn Bates had his shot from the face-off circle beat Ouellette. Stephane Da Costa extended Merrimack’s lead to 3-1 when his shot from the slot beat Ouellette at 14:46 with both teams skating four players aside.
Chris Barton extended Merrimack’s lead to 4-1 at 18:37 of the second period. Elliott Sheen had a shot that Maine goalie Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.) turned aside, but the rebound sat loose just outside the post. Barton fired the puck past Sullivan for his seventh goal of the season. Adam Ross also assisted on the goal which was a short-handed tally.
Merrimack made it a 5-1 game at 5:06 of the third period when once again, the puck deflected in off a Maine stick. Brandon Broadhag got credit for the goal from Cucci and Barton.
Da Costa scored his second goal of the game at 6:50 of the third period as the Warriors took a 6-1 lead. Jesse Todd and Chris Barton teamed up on an odd-man rush at 8:28 of the third period and Todd beat Sullivan for his eighth goal of the season.
Ouellette made 10 saves in the first period. He falls to 2-2-1 on the season. Sullivan made 15 saves in 40 minutes of action.
Joe Cannata made 29 saves in 55:55. He improves to 10-4-4 on the season. Sam Marotta made three saves in 4:05.
Maine finished the game with a 33-32 edge in shots on goal. The Black Bears were 1-for-6 on the power play, while Merimack was 1-for-3.