The opening round of the Hockey East tournament did not disappoint.
No. 11 seed Merrimack (15-16-4) gave No. 6 seed Northeastern (16-15-4) all it could handle and then some Friday night at Matthews Arena in the first of a three-game series. Just 2:24 into overtime, Warriors forward Kyle Singleton scored a shorthanded goal to give his team the 1-0 series advantage.
Things started out well for Merrimack, as Justin Hussar and Jace Hennig scored in the first and second periods, respectively, to give the visitors an early 2-0 advantage. As they have all season, though, the Huskies battled back. Zach Aston-Reese scored 4:07 into the third period to slice the deficit in half, and Mike McMurtry added the equalizer just over five minutes later.
In overtime, however, a Northeastern shot off the post gave Singleton an opportunity in transition, and the senior forward ripped a wrist shot past goaltender Clay Witt for the game-winner.
The Huskies need a win to stay alive and will look to force a game three when they battle the Warriors at Matthews Arena on Saturday. The game will be televised live at 4 p.m. on NESN.
Opening Round Results
New Hampshire 5, UConn 2 (UNH leads 1-0)
Vermont 4, Maine 2 (UVM leads 1-0)
UMass 4, Notre Dame 3 (5OT) (UMass leads 1-0)
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