NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — In an exhibition game at J. Thom Lawler Arena, McGill topped Merrimack 2-1. It was the first time since 1995 the teams faced off against each other. Merrimack, celebrating their 20th year in Hockey East, is looking to build off of last season, having only lost two key producers from the roster. However, the Warriors begin their season without their two year MVP Rob Ricci, who is out with an injury.
The two teams traded a lot of penalties, and two of the game’s three goals came on power plays.
Merrimack controlled the play for long stretches early on. Late in the first period however, McGill’s Maxime Verreault-Paul managed to beat Warriors’ goalie Andrew Braithwaite on the blocker side to give McGill a 1-0 lead.
The second period opened up with another string of penalties, and four minutes in McGill potted a power play goal.
Merrimack Coach Mark Dennehy decided to switch goaltenders at that point, putting in freshman Joe Cannata. At 11:14, only seconds after coming off of the penalty kill and switching onto a power play, the Warriors’ Chris Barton broke away from his defender to beat McGill goaltender Hubert Morin.
At the end of the second period there was hooking penalty against McGill that allowed Merrimack to stay on the power play for the beginning of the third period, but the Warriors were unable to capitalize. With one minute left to play, the Warriors pulled Cannata for an extra attacker and managed some good scoring opportunities, but couldn’t get the tying goal
Merrimack opens the regular season on October 11th against Robert Morris University.