NCAA: Merrimack Warriors win DII championship

Merrimack Warriors win the NCAA DII championship over Limestone. May 26, 2019. (Photo credit: Laura Kupsey)

The #7 Merrimack Warriors upset the #1 Limestone Saints by a stunning 16-8 score to win the men’s NCAA Division II Championship on Sunday, May 26th at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

They made it look easy. This is Merrimack’s second straight national title. Even more impressive is the fact that Merrimack and Limestone have combined to win almost every championship over the last six years. That trend will end next season as Merrimack is moving up to play in Division I.

Christian Thomas prepares to shoot on net. Merrimack vs. Limestone, NCAA DII championships. May 26, 2019. (Photo credit: Laura Kupsey)

Charlie Bertrand was the MVP of the championship game after a four goal, three assist performance. He led Division II this season with 78 goals. Brothers Christian and Dom Thomas each contributed a hat trick and an assist for Merrimack during the game, while Sean Black scored a pair of goals and three assists.

Merrimack led 3-1 after the first. Larson Sundown and Tyler Papa scored early in the second quarter for Limestone to tie things up, but the Warriors ended the half with a six-goal run for a 9-3 lead.

Black’s second of the game increased Merrimack’s lead to 10-3 in the third but Limestone found some energy to fight back, scoring four in a row. But Merrimack took back over in the fourth, outscoring the Saints 6-1. Bertrand had a hat trick, Dom Thomas two and Christian Thomas the other.

Limestone’s allotment of 16 goals was the most they gave up during any game this season. Danny Foren faced a barrage of shots from Merrimack, and while he gave up 16 goals, he also made 16 saves. Nick Ponte made 12 saves for Merrimack while giving up eight goals. Limestone had two more turnovers than Merrimack.  They also went 0/3 on the extra man.

Larson Sundown had a hat trick for Limestone. Tyler Papa also came up big with two goals and three assists.