Carson Merriman returned to the Hawks lineup Tuesday for the first time since December 8, and added two goals and an assist in the Hawks’ big win over PoCo. // Katie Lawrence-Balloch photo
With just four games left in the season, the Hawks welcomed Carson Merriman and Zach Shaughnessy back to the lineup, and they helped Delta to an 11-0 win over the PoCo Trailblazers.
The Hawks heavily outshot the visiting Trailblazers 57-11, and four different Hawks had two goals in the win.
Beckett Cross opened the scoring eight minutes into the first period. Declan Warburton brought the puck into the zone and looped around to net, then found Cross cutting into the slot. The pass inside was tipped, but Cross was able to settle it in time to make a quick move and go high-glove for his sixth of the year.
Later in the frame, the Hawks scored two goals 30 seconds apart. Carson Merriman, back in the lineup for the first time in over a month, lobbed a shot from the right point that found its way through traffic and past Gregory Sichitiu for a 2-0 Hawks lead. Then not long after, Danylo Bereza was able to sneak a wrap-around chance through the legs of PoCo’s netminder to make it 3-0 after 20 minutes.
The Hawks opened the second period with two more goals close together, this time 32 seconds apart. Mateo Sjoberg added his twenty-second goal of the year on a one-timer passed by Danylo Bereza through the slot, and then Merriman struck again, picking up a rebound from a Tye Hemenway shot and finishing it off for a 5-0 lead just a minute into the middle frame.
Sjoberg netted another in the period, taking a tapped pass from Bereza and heading up the middle of the PoCo zone. His shot went far side, off the inside of the post and in for another highlight-reel goal, his twenty-third of the season.
In the last six minutes, Delta added three more goals – Payton Hu banked one off Sichitiu and in on a sharp angle to make it 7-0. Then Conner Merriman teamed up with Carson, and Conner scored his fifteenth, and Dawson Toledo finished off a steal and pass from Hu to make it a 9-0 game with a period to go.
Hu tacked on his second of the game and twenty-fourth of the season in the third period, picking up a loose puck in front and putting the Hawks into double digits, and Sjoberg and Bereza connected for another scoring play and Bereza’s second of the night for an 11-0 final.