NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. — The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees squared off with Merrimack College Warriors today in front of a sparse crowd in the newly renovated Volpe Complex at Merrimack College. The exhibition game ended in a 2-2 tie.
“A Gee-Gee,” explained University of Ottawa Head Coach Mickey Goulet, “is a horse that leads the way.” Ottawa goalie Jordan Watt was the personification of a Gee Gee today. He stymied Merrimack College all day long as he only let in 2 goals on 41 shots. Not only were his saves numerous, they were quality as well. Watts stopped a flurry of shots on the doorstep on a handful of occasions.
The shots after one period were 17-2 in favor of Merrimack. However, they only had one goal to show for it. “The goaltender did a great job,” Said Goulet.
The Warriors used superior team speed and discipline in the first to take the play to Ottawa. The Gee-Gees had seven penalties compared to Merrimack’s two. The Warriors generated scoring chances on virtually every shift while Ottawa could only manage one legitimate threat, a shot from the slot that clanged off the post with seven minutes remaining in the period.
Merrimack’s first goal came at the 5:41 mark of the first. Ryan Kiley colleted the puck just inside the blue and dangled around a defenseman at the left dot. But Kiley mishandled the puck for a second and had to get rid of it. He barely managed to retain possession and dished a crisp backhanded pass to spring sophomore Tim Reidy who roofed it past the Ottawa goalie to make it 1-0. The Warriors looked like they would roll over the Gee-Gees.
However, the fact that it was only 1-0 after being outshot by such a wide margin in the first period seemed to put some wind in the sails of Ottawa. The Gee-Gee’s stepped up their game in the second period and slowed the game down, lulling Merrimack to sleep. They tied the Warriors in shots 12-12 in the second.
Merrimack Head Coach Chris Serino was disappointed with the fact that Merrimack failed to put the game away early. “In the first period we played real well,” he continued, “Things were going our way until the second period when we just screwed around.”
Merrimack did manage to score a goal in the second period however. That came off the stick of Jr. Nick Cammarata at 4:13 of the period. Kiley beat an Ottawa defenseman to a loose puck and squirted a pass out to Cammarata on the short side. Cammarata beat Watts with a nice wrister to the top right corner.
Later in the period, a scrum in front of the Merrimack bench resulted in a powerplay for Ottawa. Chris Boucher scored at 14:21 on a pass from Samuel Seguin to pull Ottawa within one.
Ottawa goalie Jordan Watt took over the game in the third. Merrimack generated some quality scoring chances on 16 shots, including a flurry of four right on the doorstep, but Watt was there to answer each and every bid.
Ottawa went on the powerplay with just under two minutes remaining in the third. They pulled Watts with 24 seconds left to make it a 6 on 4. The play was carried into the Merrimack zone and, after the puck was tossed around a few times by both teams, it found its way to the front of the net where Jourdon Lagace was standing uncovered. He wasted no time, depositing a snapper to the lower right hand corner to tie the game with 10.3 seconds on the clock.
The overtime period saw Merrimack return to its dominant ways. The play was in the Ottawa zone for the majority of the final five minutes. Merrimack outshot Ottawa 6-0 in the final frame but to no avail. Watts shut the door and Merrimack had to settle for the 2-2 tie.