With the win, Union extended its unbeaten streak to six games (4-0-2) and recorded its first win against a top 5 opponent since a 3-2 win over No. 1 Yale on Jan. 28, 2011 at Messa Rink.
Senior forward Kelly Zajac sealed the win with an empty net goal in the third period and freshman forward Daniel Carr added a power play goal in the first period for the Dutchmen, who finished the night 2-for-7 on the man advantage. The Dutchmen were 5-of-5 on the penalty kill.
Sophomore goaltender Troy Grosenick made 19 saves, while Merrimack goaltender Joe Cannata stopped 31 shots in net for the Warriors, who were outshot 34-20 on the night by Union.
The Dutchmen got off to a great start, using an early 5-on-3 power play opportunity to take a 1-0 lead. With Merrimack’s Kyle Singleton already in the penalty box for tripping, Kyle Bigos was whistled for boarding, giving the Dutchmen 46 seconds of 5-on-3 power play time.
Sophomore defenseman Mat Bodie fed Zajac, who fired a shot from the high slot on net. Carr jammed the rebound past Cannata to give the Dutchmen a 1-0 lead at 13:47 of the first period.
Union carried the momentum into the second period, outshooting the Warriors 11-2 over the first 15:00 of play. Freshman forward Trevor Mingoia was stopped from just outside the crease on a backhand chance at 14:27. Cannata was shaken up on the play but stayed in the game.
Shortly thereafter, Merrimack’s Shawn Bates used the Union defense as a screen, firing a wide angle shot over the shoulder of Grosenick at 15:06 to even the game at 1-1.
Merrimack’s Jesse Todd was called for hooking at 17:0o, giving Union another power play just minutes later. Early on in the man advantage, Grosenick came up with one of his best saves of the game, stopping a Rhett Bly breakaway with a right pad save.
Coming back down the ice, sophomore forward Josh Jooris set up freshman defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who fired a low wrist shot past Cannata at 17:59 to put Union up 2-1 heading into the third period.