Friday, March 15, 2013

Game Day: Hockey East Quarterfinal--BU vs. Merrimack

Playoff hockey begins tonight with #3 seed BU hosting #6 Merrimack in the best-of-three Hockey East Quarterfinals with puck drop at Agganis Arena at 7:30 p.m. 

When the two teams last met, in a rescheduled game on Feb. 26, the Warriors were tied with BC for first place in Hockey East. BU won that game, 5-2. Since then, Merrimack has lost three of four, being swept by regular-season champ Lowell and splitting with UMass.

Terriers defeated Merrimack in three regular-season games, marking the first time the Warriors hadn’t earned any points in a regular-season series since 2008-09, when BU swept them as well. Now, BU is faced with the always-difficult task of beating an opponent five times in one season.

Terrier Coach Jack Parker noted:

"The margin of error in those games was really slight. It wasn’t as if we dominated any one of those games. They always saw our best game and hopefully we can do that again. I’m not sure if we saw Merrimack’s best game."

Danny O'Regan, who led all Hockey East freshmen in conference scoring, is BU's top point-getter with 34, while his linemate, Matt Nieto leads the team in goals with 16. Together with Evan Rodrigues (photo,12-19-31 overall), they've combined for 67 points (31 g, 31 a) in the past 18 games. Freshman netminder Sean Maguire comes off a strong weekend having yield just two goals in the pair of wins against Northeastern including his third shutout of the season.

Mike Collins, a teammate of injured Terrier Garrett Noonan at Catholic Memorial and with the Vernon Vipers, leads the Warriors in both goals and points with a 16-21-37 line. Merrimack's defense is anchored by Jordan Heywood (19 points) while goalie Sam Marotta has a .927 save percentage.

BU and Merrimack last met in the Hockey East quarterfinals in 2010, with BU winning the deciding third game, 3-0.

Terriers have now earned home ice for the quarterfinals nine consecutive season and have qualified for the tournament all 29 seasons of Hockey East..
● preview, Game Notes, Game Tracker, Hockey East Streaming Video (PPV), WWZN Radio Webcast, Twitter Updates
● Boston Hockey Blog live in-game blog
● WTBU Sports quarter-finals preview, notebook with injury updates
● Hockey East picks and projections
SB Nation preview
● College Hockey News Tale of the Tape
●  Mack Report comparison of BU and Merrimack

Episode 21 of Inside BU Hockey features Bernie Corbett’s interviews with Coach Jack Parker, junior defenseman Matt Ronan and co-captain of the 2006 Hockey East Champions Brad Zancanaro who scored the last goal for BU at Walter Brown Arena and the first goal at Agganis Arena.

Women’s Team
Terriers are preparing for their NCAA quarterfinal matchup with Clarkson on Saturday at Agganis Arena with a 3 p.m. puck drop.  CBS College Sports will provide a free live stream of the game.

NCAA brackets

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