BOSTON — It went from bad to worse to even worse for the Merrimack men’s hockey team on Saturday night at Matthews Arena. Northeastern struck for two goals late in the first period to take a lead into the locker room after a relatively even opening 18 minutes and then poured it on with four second-period goals and two more in the third en route to an 8-2 victory over the Warriors.
“It was just a bad night,” Borek said. “We didn’t play well. It was not a good night for our club. I wasn’t impressed with our effort, with the way we played, our second effort and I don’t even know if we had a third effort.”
The Huskies were playing their first game of the season after sitting in limbo following a pause of their department late last month, but they didn’t look like there was any rust.
The Huskies were also without two freshman stars. Goaltender Devon Levi is with Team Canada at the World Juniors and forward Sam Colangelo is with Team USA.
“They won almost every puck,” Borek said. “We had a lot of sticks where noses should have been. We knew that they were high-powered and offensively skilled. We didn’t get over pucks with our nose and we tried to reach with our stick, and they are a much better team than we are at that game. Learning to win is hard. We played really well last weekend and we didn’t come back tonight with the same game. That’s on us.”
Defenseman Jordan Harris had two goals for the Huskies as did freshman Steven Agriogianis. Zach Solow had three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and Tyler Spott picked up the first two points of his collegiate career.
For the Warriors, defenseman Dominic Dockery scored a second-period goal and freshman Conor Lovett scored his first collegiate goal in the third period.
“There’s not much positive from today quite frankly,” Borek said. “We didn’t do much well. This might be one of those games to throw in the trash and move on to the next one.”
Blocks lacking for Warriors
After averaging almost 20 shot blocks per game last weekend against UMass, the Warriors stepped in front of just nine shots on Saturday against the Huskies.
“It felt like we blocked seven shots,” Borek said. “We usually want to see between 15-20. We didn’t work hard enough to get into those lanes. We didn’t make them change lanes much. They’d give us one fake and we’d bite it. That’s just not being ready. That’s not being prepared.
“We didn’t attack enough,” Borek said. “In all three zones. That was disappointing.”
Northeastern’s powerful power play
Northeastern’s power-play unit was cooking on Saturday night, scoring four goals on eight chances. Both of Harris’ goals were scored on the power play.
“They run what they’ve always run on the power play,” Borek said. “Their power play is elite. All five guys can score. Give them a lot of credit, but we can play it better for sure. They were just feeling it. We gave them opportunities and we got passive. They just beat us. When you’re playing poorly and passive at 5-on-5 it bleeds into everything else.”
NOTES: Merrimack wore their road blues for the first time this season while Northeastern wore their home white jerseys. … Patrick Kramer left the game with an injury and required medical attention. … Zach Borgiel relieved Troy Kobryn in the second period. … Northeastern had six players with multi-point games.
Northeastern 8, Merrimack 2
at Matthews Arena
Merrimack (1-2-0): 0-1-1—2
Northeastern (1-0-0): 2-4-2—8
Scoring – 1, NOE Steven Agriogianis/1 (Jordan Harris/1, Mike Kesselring/1) 14:15
2, NOE Jordan Harris/1 (Zach Solow/1, Grant Jozefek/1) 15:32 (PP)
Penalties – Liam Walsh, MER (Tripping) 7:42; Jayden Struble, NOE (Interference) 11:22; Jakob Lee, MER (Boarding) 15:12
Scoring – 3, NOE Zach Solow/1 (TJ Walsh/1) 3:03 (GW)
4, NOE Tyler Spott/1 (Zach Solow/2, Dylan Jackson/1) 5:53 (PP)
5, NOE Jordan Harris/2 (Grant Jozefek/2) 8:35 (PP)
6, NOE Neil Shea/1 (Steven Agriogianis/1, Tyler Spott/1) 11:15
7, MER Dominic Dockery/1 (Logan Drevitch/3) 14:18
Penalties – Filip Karlsson-Tagtstrom, MER (Tripping) 3:19; Zach Solow, NOE (Roughing) 3:19; Logan Drevitch, MER (Hooking) 3:53; Filip Forsmark, MER (Hooking) 7:21; Julian Kislin, NOE (Interference) 16:20; Logan Drevitch, MER (Hooking) 17:28
Scoring – 8, NOE Steven Agriogianis/2 (Jérémie Bucheler/1, TJ Walsh/2) 17:00 (PP)
9, NOE Riley Hughes/1 18:09
10, MER Conor Lovett/1 (Liam Walsh/1, Regan Kimens/1) 18:54
Penalties – Grant Jozefek, NOE (Tripping) 0:43; Patrick Holway, MER (Hitting after the Whistle) 9:16; Logan Drevitch, MER (Holding) 9:16; Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, NOE (Hitting after the Whistle) 9:16; Mac Welsher, MER (Slashing) 10:57; Zach Vinnell, MER (Interference) 15:08
Merrimack Goaltending – Troy Kobryn (28:35, 18 shots, 13 saves, 5 GA); Zachary Borgiel (31:22, 12 shots, 9 saves, 3 GA); Empty Net (0:03, 0 GA
Northeastern Goaltending – Connor Murphy (59:46, 22 shots, 20 saves, 2 GA); Empty Net (0:14, 0 GA)
Win – Connor Murphy, NOE (1-0-0). Loss – Troy Kobryn, MER (0-1-0).
Shots On Goal – MER 10-9-3=22; NOE 10-11-9=30
Power Plays – MER 0 of 3; NOE 4 of 8
Penalties – MER 10 (20 min); NOE 5 (10 min)