Special Teams Help Merrimack Top Bentley 5-2

Chris Buchanan
Chris Buchanan

 

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Merrimack scored three power play goals, and received a five-minute penalty kill, to defeat Bentley 5-2 on Friday night in the Falcons' first non-conference game of the season.

After playing their first eight games of the season against Atlantic Hockey opponents, the Falcons jumped into non-conference action with this game against the Warriors of Hockey East. Senior forward Brett Seney had two power play goals in the 3rd period for the hosts, while they also killed off a five-minute major while holding on to a 3-2 lead.

It was Bentley that jumped out to a 1-0 lead when sophomore defenseman Brett Orr (Elkhorn, Manitoba) fired in his 1st goal of the season, 4:33 into the game. Freshman winger Michael Boyle (Phoenix, Ariz.) helped set the goal up as the puck was dumped into Bentley's offensive zone, he dug the puck out of the corner and fed a pass to Orr on the point. Orr quickly fired in a one-timer through traffic to give the Falcons an early lead.

Just over five minutes later, the Warriors pulled even as junior forward Michael Babcock scored at the 9:56 mark.

The first period ended 1-1 as Bentley had an 8-6 edge in shots.

Merrimack though started the 2nd period with a pair of goals within the first 2:06, first from defenseman Marc Biega, and followed by a power play goal from senior Jace Henning.

The next 10-plus minutes went scoreless, but the Falcons got back in it with a power play goal from defenseman Tanner Jago (Brandon, Manitoba) at the 13:49 mark, with defenseman Charlie Marchand (Calgary, Alberta) and Kyle Schmidt (Menomonee Falls, Wisc.) on the assists.

Bentley then had a chance for further damage as the Warriors were assessed a five-minute major for hitting from behind with 3:18 left in the period. But Merrimack was able to stem the tide and killed off the power play for the rest of the period, then the remaining 1:42 into the 3rd period to keep its 3-2 lead intact.

Merrimack then built off that penalty kill a few minutes later when Seney scored about three and a half minutes after the penalty expired to restore its two-goal lead to 4-2.

A long stretch of uninterrupted play didn't produce a goal for either team, but Seney struck again on the power play at 16:40 for a 5-2 lead, which is how the game ended.

Bentley is now off for the rest of the weekend, but will be back in action next Friday when they open a series at Canisius.