MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) Anders Lee scored his second goal of the game 5:18 into overtime and Notre Dame rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits to beat Merrimack 4-3 on Saturday night in the NCAA tournament's NortheastRegional.
The Fighting Irish (24-13-5) advanced to play New Hampshire in the regional final Sunday night for a spot in the FrozenFour.
Lee got his stick in front of a clearing pass and knocked the puck backward past Joe Cannata into the net to win it. The Merrimack goalie just slumped to the ice as Lee skated off and was swarmed by his teammates across the ice from the Notre Damebench.
The Irish, who trailed 2-0 and 3-1, held off a frenzied start by Merrimack (25-10-4) inovertime.
The Warriors had the Irish scrambling from the start of overtime, firing off six shots in the first five minutes, prompting Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson to call atimeout.
Just 18 seconds later, Lee poked the puck into thenet.
Cannata made 33 saves for the Warriors, who were in the NCAA tournament for the secondtime.
Mike Johnson stopped 32 shots for Notre Dame, including all six he faced inovertime.
Billy Maday had a goal and an assist for the Irish. Ryan Flanigan led Merrimack with a goal and anassist.
BUFFALO – The Bruins might not quite be finished with the Chris Kelly era in Boston.
After the gritty, seasoned and defensive-minded forward played only 11 games last season due to a left femur fracture suffered in November, there was some question about his future with his contract up on July 1. The B’s have maintained a consistent interest in potentially bringing back the team leader if Kelly proved he was healthy enough to contribute and of course if the price was right for the 35-year-old.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that Kelly now has a full bill of health seven months after the injury and that Sweeney planned to speak with the fourth-liner’s agent in the near future.
“I’m actually going to speak with Chris Kelly’s representative,” said Sweeney. “We had great news that he was physically and medically cleared, so we’re going to have a discussion with them in short order.”
While Kelly’s days of scoring 20 goals or playing big minutes as a third-line center might be behind him, he’s still a respected leader and gritty, tough penalty killer that sets a great example for the young players in the B’s dressing room. If Kelly is willing to sign for short term and something in the neighborhood of $1 million, he could be an acceptable fit as a fourth liner/13th forward on a Bruins team gearing more toward speed and youth with each passing month.
If not, then Kelly is more than likely one of those veteran players who might have to win an NHL job in training camp, given that he’s coming off a pretty major leg injury, and that the league is skewing more toward entry level contract players as fourth line/extra forwards.
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