Minus the results, Merrimack head coach Scott Borek has seen a lot of positives in his team’s play throughout the last several games.
Senior goaltenders Craig Pantano (Bridgewater, Mass.) and Drew Vogler have often given the Warriors chances to win, despite the team’s 5-15-1 overall record. Six of Merrimack’s first eight games were decided by a single goal, while an improved defensive effort in recent weeks has made the scores closer and made allowing more than five goals six times in an eight-game span a streak left back in the first semester.
Friday night’s 2-1 overtime loss at New Hampshire was another heartbreaker for the Warriors, marking their fifth one-goal loss of the season. But the emotions were much, much different a night later after freshman Chase Gresock scored his fourth goal of the year and Pantano made a career-high 42 saves for a 1-0 win at Northeastern.
“Craig was obviously the best player in the rink and that’s what we needed to get a W,” said Borek. “I’m really proud. We were down a man (playing with five defensemen, with junior leader Johnathan Kovacevic still out of the lineup with an upper-body injury) and the guys battled through. … When Craig needed help, he got it, but for the most part he was helping us.”