Merrimack’s hot start too much for Memorial

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Memorial’s Parker Burgess with the puck. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, N.H. – From the early moments of Saturday’s NHIAA Division II Boys’ Hockey Quarterfinal on Saturday night, it quickly became clear that the question wasn’t who was going to win, but what would be the final score.

That final score was 5-1, with the Merrimack Tomahawks making easy work of the Manchester Memorial Crusaders.

Sophomore Evan Roy got Merrimack on the board 3:39 into the contest, with a fast break score from senior Dominic Carozza doubling the Tomahawks’ lead just over a minute later.

Merrimack Head Coach Dan Belliveau said he was convinced the lack of a strong early start proved to be the difference in Merrimack’s loss to Memorial at West Side Arena last month.

“I figured if I could get us going right away, instead of us waiting until the first period,” said Belliveau “We got it going, getting to a fast start, get it to the night and let the boys go to work. And they did a good job.”

Merrimack dominated physically early on, setting a tone for the entire contest. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

Memorial Head Coach Chuck Goss agreed with Belliveau’s assessment that Merrimack’s hot start set the game’s tone.

“Merrimack came out really hot, they came out flying, they were moving their feet and they were on top of us. The only way you can describe us is as flat,” he said.

Merrimack would go into the first intermission with that 2-0 advantage in spite of squandered power play opportunities on both sides, with Merrimack getting 53 seconds with a 5-on-3 after a pair of tripping penalties by Memorial.

Each team saw three players go to the box in the first, all six coming after the two early Merrimack goals, but the contest would not see another goal until 1:17 into the second period. That goal came from Merrimack freshman Eliot Medlock, who found the back of the net shortly after the first of his two roughing penalties on the day.

Medlock also added Merrimack’s fourth goal 12:37 into the second period, just moments after Kody Bryce finally put Memorial on the board.

Medlock celebrates after the quick response to Memorial’s goal. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

“What little wind we got went out of our sails at that point,” said Goss.

Carozza added an empty net goal with just under two minutes in regulation to seal Merrimack’s victory.

Merrimack now heads to Dover for first of two NHIAA Division II Boys’ Hockey Semifinal in Dover on Wednesday. The Tomahawks will face Coe-Brown/Somersworth at 4:15. In the other semifinal, Dover takes on Oyster River. The two semi-final winners play again on Saturday at 5 p.m., again in Dover.

Memorial’s Demetri Alexander and Merrimack’s Dylan Sadowski tangle. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

About this Author

andrewsylvia

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.