Following arguably one of the most exciting games of the season---the history-making win over BU in overtime to take home the Beanpot Championship trophy---the Eagles Friday night matchup against Merrimack (8-15-6) seemed like a small speed bump on the path to the podium.
Despite the 6-3 score, the Warriors managed to put up a fight against the Eagles and challenge them in an unexpected contest. "Started really quick, 4-1 after one and Merrimack responded very well, got it to 4-2 and made it a hockey game," said Jerry York "We had to earn the two points tonight."
In a full team effort, ten different players earned points and the Eagles scored in every way possible---short handed, even strength, power play, and penalty shot---to propel the Eagles over the Warriors and extend their unbeaten streak to 11 games. Merrimack outshot the Eagles 33 to 25, but a stellar effort by Demko and solid, crisp shots by the forwards gave BC the advantage.
Ryan Fitzgerald got things going for the Eagles when he came flying into the Merrimack zone, decked a few defensemen and backhanded it to Adam Gilmour coming in hot from the left side to tap it in. Zach Sanford added the Eagles’ second goal just under four minutes later with the easy one-timer from Gilmour.
"Adam Gilmour had the best game he's had all year, I thought he was skating and moving pucks and finishing checks. He did some very good things for us," said Jerry York after the game.
Austin Cangelosi was able to split two defenders and bring the puck through the Merrimack zone for the breakaway attempt, but after being tripped up, he was awarded the penalty shot. Cangelosi’s successful attempt marked his second penalty shot of the season and put the Eagles up 3-0 halfway into the first period.
Colin White added to the lead to pull the Eagles ahead by four with a short-handed goal with 14 seconds remaining on Travis Jeke’s tripping minor in the first.
Merrimack didn’t register a shot until eight minutes into the game, it wasn’t until the final two minutes of the first when the Jared Kolquist finally got one back for the Warriors. The next point of the game came 14:55 into the second period when Marc Biega cut the Eagles’ lead to two, scoring the lone goal of the second.
Alex Tuch put a stop to any momentum the Warriors picked up in the second period when he got the Eagles’ fifth goal just thirteen seconds into the third. Merrimack tried hard to fight back and find a spark to get anything going, outshooting the Eagles 14-7 in the third.
Their efforts, however, were stymied by Thatcher Demko’s 30-save effort and Sanford’s second goal on the night halfway through the third to increase the lead to four. With 4:24 remaining, Biega also got his second of the night to make it a 6-3 finish.
The teams will match up again Saturday night when the Eagles travel to Merrimack for the second installment of the home-and-home series.
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