ORONO, Maine — 184 penalty minutes, 50 penalties, nine misconducts.
Those are all new Hockey East tournament records, and they were all set in last night’s 5-2 Merrimack win over Maine in Game 2 of the Hockey East quarterfinals. Game 3, which will decide the series, will take place tonight.
Three of the four series in Hockey East are going the distance.
“I’m not smart enough to referee,” Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy said after the game.
The Warriors were whistled for 98 penalty minutes and the Black Bears for 86. A brawl in the third period resulted in six misconducts between the two teams.
“These are obviously two teams that don’t like each other,” said sophomore forward Rhett Bly, who potted two goals for the Warriors.
144 of the penalty minutes were assessed in a wild third period. The game took nearly three hours to play (2:50), which is unofficially one of the longest non-overtime college hockey games in history.
“It’s the playoffs so you know they’re going to call it tight,” Bly said.
- Merrimack’s Rhett Bly notched his first career two-goal game
- By staving off elimination, Merrimack can advance to its second-straight and third-ever Hockey East Semifinals with a win Sunday over the Black Bears.
- After going winless at Maine for 24 games (0-22-2), Merrimack now has won twice this season in Orono and can become only the second team to ever win a quarterfinal series at Maine with a victory Sunday. The only other team to win a series at Maine? UMass in 2003, where current Merrimack bench boss Mark Dennehy as an assistant coach with the Minutemen.
- Merrimack senior captain Karl Stollery tied the program’s all-time record for games played in a career with 144 and will likely break the record Sunday. Stollery has missed one game in his career.
- The 184 penalty minutes set a new single-game record for the Hockey East tournament. Merrimack was whistled for 26 penalties for 98 minutes, while the Black Bears received 24 penalties for 86 minutes. Maine finished the game 1-for-8 on the power play, while Merrimack was 1-for-7.
- Cannata became the Merrimack’s all-time Division I leader for saves in a career with 28 saves. He passed Marty Legault (3,120) with his 26th save Saturday.
- Merrimack (18-11-7) and Maine (21-12-3) will meet in a deciding game three of the quarterfinal series Sunday at 7 p.m. in Orono. The game will be televised live nationally on Fox College Sports Pacific and on WBIN. A short documentary, “Merrimack All-Access,” will have a special encore presentation following game three on WBIN.