Merrimack Holds off Bentley to Advance in NE-10 Playoffs

The visitors controlled play for large stretches of the second, outshooting Bentley 15-10 for the first half, while winning 11 of 13 draws, but the Falcon defense forced most shots wide. Merrimack also committed 10 first-half turnovers.

In an energized third period, Lunney notched his third of the game, sandwiched between a pair of goals from Steve Murray, as Merrimack clung to a one-goal lead with 15 minutes to play.

Falcons goaltender Mike O'Neil made nine third-period saves, including three on Perdie. But Connor Reagan (East Lyme, CT) matched him save for save, making three of his own in the third.

McAdam and Lunney notched goals in the first 5:09 of the fourth, extending Merrimack's lead to three, before Richard Travers made it 10-8 on a two-man advantage tally with 5:53 to play.

But Merrimack's defense, led by Jimmy Holland (Billerica, MA) held from there forcing turnovers with 5:09 and 3:35 to play, while Reagan stopped a bouncer from Matt Boilard with 1:40 remaining.

Bentley cut it to one with 44.6 seconds left, but Nick Maggio (Winchester, MA) won the ensuing draw to Peter Schielke (Ridgefield, CT) after a lengthy scramble. Bentley got the ball back with 2.6 seconds to play after a Warrior turnover, but Reagan stopped a wide angle shot from Jared Kinch, securing the victory for the Warriors.

The Warriors forced 15 Falcon turnovers, as Holland caused three of his own.

“Holland was a beast all game,” said Morgan. “He played very hard and caused some big turnovers in the second half.”

Reagan finished with 12 saves as Merrimack outshot Bentley 42-30, including 29-14 in the second and third quarters.

McAdam posted three goals and an assist in the win, while Jones added a pair. Maggio won 17 of 22 draws for the Warriors.

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