No. 6 Dowling Rallies in Q4 to Defeat No. 8 Merrimack

BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. Trailing by three at the half, eighth-ranked Merrimack rallied back to take a one-goal lead into the final quarter, but No. 6 Dowling stormed ahead with four tallies, and the Warriors fell, 10-9, on the road in a showcase of two of the North Region's top teams on Wednesday afternoon.

In a battle that pitted two of the top teams from the North Region, it was the sixth-ranked Golden Lions who emerged victorious on Wednesday after erasing a one-goal deficit with four scores in the final 15 minutes to hand the Warriors their first road loss of 2014.

With Merrimack on top by one (7-6) after three quarters, Dowling benefitted from a pair of extra-man opportunities potted a pair of man-up goals both by Matt Crough to tie and, subsequently, go ahead by one with just under 11 minutes to go.

Senior Paul Jones (Guilderland, N.Y.) buried his third tally of the day roughly 90 seconds later to draw both sides even, but Billy Richardson answered with 8:15 remaining to make it a 9-8 Dowling advantage.

Both sides would then play shutdown defense against one another over the next seven minutes, as neither Merrimack nor Dowling would find the twine again until the final minute of play.

With 44 seconds left in regulation, Richardson tallied a key insurance goal for the hosts that proved to be the game-winner; sophomore Ryan Poirier (Warwick, R.I.) brought the visitors to within one with a last-gasp marker, but it was too little, too late, as Merrimack was unable to generate a potential game-tying shot after winning the ensuing faceoff.

In the first half, Merrimack and Dowling went back and forth in the first quarter before the Golden Lions edged ahead with two more markers in the second to take a 5-2 lead into the locker room. Jones and sophomore Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass.) were the only two Warriors to score over the first 30 minutes while junior Morgan Green (Portsmouth, R.I.) turned away three shots in net.

Merrimack dominated the third quarter, outscoring Dowling, 5-1, highlighted by junior transfer Andrew Vivian (Slingerlands, N.Y.) going off for three straight tallies in a nearly three-minute span while both Jones and Souza bookended the period with goals of their own.


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