No. 7 Merrimack Downs No. 5 NYIT
from press release
WESTBURY, N.Y. – Behind 11 saves from Connor Reagan (East Lyme, CT) in his first career start and the first four collegiate goals from Terence Barclay (Babylon, NY), #5/7 Merrimack opened its season with an 11-8 victory over #7/5 New York Institute of Technology Saturday afternoon in a critical non-conference contest.
Avenging last season's loss to the Bears in North Andover which ended Merrimack's Final Four hopes, the Warriors trailed 1-0 early but goals from Michael Balbuena (Falmouth, MA), Barclay, Matt Marini (Trumbull, CT), and Corey Lunney (Little Silver, NJ), gave the visitors the 4-1 lead midway through the second quarter.
NYIT responded with two man-advantage tallies, but Merrimack's power play answered right back as Brad McAdam (Neshanic Station, NJ) and Barclay scored before the end of the half, with Barclay's coming with six seconds left. Nick Vazquez (Haverhill, MA) notched assists on both goals as the Warriors led 6-3 at halftime.
Lunney, McAdam and Barclay followed with consecutive tallies to open the third, giving Merrimack the 9-3 lead but the Bears didn't quit, responding with three straight goals, cutting the lead to 9-6.
Lunney and Barclay added insurance markers in the fourth, while Reagan made two stops for his first career win.
The Warriors outshot NYIT 13-7 in the first and 43-42 in the game, while converting on four of its 13 man-advantages.
Lunney, last year's Northeast-10 Rookie of the Year, picked up three goals and an assist in the victory.
"It was a hard fought game especially given the two teams and their rankings," said head coach Mike Morgan. "There was certainly a lot riding on it, and we came out hard. We overcome some early injuries and penalties and hung in there. Connor Reagan was just unbelievable in net. He was lights out."
Merrimack (1-0) will take on Dominican on March 10 at 4 p.m. at the Torne Valley Sports Complex.
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