#5 Union Drops Opener 4-1
Posted at: 10/06/2012 10:22 PM
By: Union Athletics
SCHENECTADY, NY – Junior defenseman Mat Bodie scored, but the No. 5/5 Union College men’s ice hockey team (0-1) fell, 4-1, to Merrimack College (1-0) in front of 2,087 fans on opening night at Messa Rink.
Merrimack forward Josh Myers scored twice early in the third period in a span of 2:19 to break a 1-1 tie, and Kyle Singleton added an empty net goal at 18:57 to seal the win for the Warriors, who were led by an outstanding effort in net by Sam Marotta (32 saves).
Junior goaltender Troy Grosenick stopped 23 shots in net for the Dutchmen, who lost their season opener for the first time since the start of the 2005-06 season, a 6-1 loss to Colorado College on October 7, 2005.
Union held a banner ceremony before the game to honor the accomplishments of the 2011-12 team, but fell behind early to the visiting Warriors, who scored on their second shot of the game. Rhett Bly batted in a rebound off a shot from Dan Kolomatis at 4:04 to put Merrimack up 1-0 early in the first period.
The Dutchmen fired 16 of their 34 shots on net in the opening period, but Marotta was up to the task, controlling rebounds in front of the Merrimack net.
Grosenick made perhaps his best stop of the night early in the second period, sprawling to make a left pad save on a breakaway chance by Justin Mansfield at 6:03 of the second period.
Just over a minute later, Union would even the score at 1-1 as Bodie fired a fluttering shot from the right point that deflected off a Merrimack skate and into the net at 7:25.
The score would remain that way heading into the final frame, but Merrimack would strike early to take the lead for good. Myers scored his first of the night, stuffing a low shot past Grosenick at 2:42 to give Merrimack a 2-1 lead.
Just over two minutes later, Myers struck again, scoring from the goal mouth on a rebound off a shot from John Heffernan at 5:01.
Union had a chance to cut into the Merrimack lead with a later power play, as Connor Toomey was whistled for slashing at 14:18 after catching sophomore defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere up high with his stick. But the Dutchmen failed to generate quality chances during the man advantage. Union finished the night 0-for-5 on the power play, while holding Merrimack 0-for-4 on the man advantage.
Merrimack sealed the win when senior defenseman Greg Coburn tripped up Kyle Singleton on a breakaway with the Union net empty at 18:57, an automatic goal by rule.
Union will take on Bowling Green next weekend in a two game series, starting with a contest on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.