ORONO, Me. — Ryan Lomberg was on a mission Friday night.
Lomberg scored both goals for Maine to push the Black Bears past Merrimack 2-1 at Alfond Arena.
At the 10:18 mark of the first period, Lomberg picked up a Devin Shore rebound to put the Black Bears on the board. Merrimack goaltender Rasmus Tirronen was able to block Shore’s shot, but Lomberg had great positioning to collect the rebound.
Merrimack answered on the power play when Vinny Scotti redirected Justin Mansfield’s slap shot from the point at 14:52.
The Warriors carried the pace of play for much of the second period, forcing Maine coach Red Gendron to call a timeout. Maine had just been called for icing, so using the timeout allowed Gendron to get a fresh set of legs on the ice.
“We were turning the puck over and not playing as smart as we needed to,” said Gendron. “In my mind at that moment, I didn’t want to give them an opportunity to score.”
Lomberg scored again for the Black Bears 11:26 into the third period. Mark Anthoine just missed the net on the initial shot and Lomberg was once again in the right spot to knock in the rebound.
“I just kept whacking at the puck,” said Lomberg.
“The key to that [second] goal was he beat his check off the wall,” Gendron noted.
Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy felt his team played a “pretty good road game.”
“I think we need to work a little harder offensively to score goals,” Dennehy said. “I wish our forwards, at times, worked as hard as our defensemen.”
Gendron was pleased overall with his team’s performance stating it was a “solid win” against a tough opponent.
“They’re a pretty good grinding team,” Gendron said. “They worked hard. They had us back on our heels in the second period, but we weren’t getting the puck deep and we weren’t moving well as a unit.”
Maine is now 14-10-13 overall, 8-5-2 in Hockey East and holds a record of 11-1 at home.
Merrimack drops to 7-17-3 and 2-11-2 in Hockey East play. The Warriors’ road woes continue, as they dropped their 11th road game for an overall road record of 2-11-2.