Marcus Antonelli – Sports Editor
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The boys did not have the best of days. Merrimack lost 4-1 to Boston University in a game that was way too out of control. The anticipation heading in was nothing short of exciting and hopeful. This was the rematch of the Hockey East Championship game that was a nightmare in the heads of Merrimack players and fans alike. 258 days later, the rematch was something to remember, just not the way you’d expect it to be.
Early on, it was pretty evident that the Terriers were going to dominate the puck possession. They came out flying on all cylinders, keeping the Warriors on their heels. At the halfway point of the first period, BU got through the wall that is Hugo Ollas to make it 1-0 Terriers.
Then, over a minute into the second period, Matt Copponi went to go forecheck on BU defenseman Chris Webber. Copponi hit Webber from behind in an attempt to retrieve the puck from him. Webber hit the boards hard. As a result of the hit, Copponi received a 5-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct. That moment was a lit-match going into a pile of kindling and wood, just waiting to be ignited.
If I went through every penalty that was called in the second period, you’d probably stop reading this piece. So let Coach Borek cut you straight to the point, “It was just undisciplined. There was no need for any of them,” says Borek, “We talked about playing with emotion but not emotionally. We played emotionally tonight.”
Merrimack and BU combined for 84 penalty minutes in the second period. To the fan’s eye, it felt like you were watching a WWE Monday Night Raw competition instead of a Hockey game. It was crazy.
Just when you thought the night wasn’t going to get any worse, it did. The referees were reviewing a challenge from BU on Merrimack Graduate forward Filip Forsmark for a major penalty, and the fire alarm went off. There was still 1:49 left in the second period.
At first, no one knew what to do. The players, fans, coaches, basically everyone was ‘dazed and confused’ if you want to put it that way. But eventually, the place cleared out. Friends, this was not your average hockey game experience.
When we got back into the rink, play resumed after everyone settled in. After the second finished, there was a quick two-minute break before the third period commenced.
Merrimack saw yet another freshman get their first goal of their collegiate career. Ethan Bono found a loose rebound off a Mark Gallant shot to make it a two-goal game early in the third.
The Warriors had two power plays but failed to convert on either one of them. Later on, David Sacco was advancing the puck through the neutral zone. Macklin Celebrini was all over him and took the puck away. Sacco wasn’t too happy about it. He received a five-minute major for slashing and game misconduct for the infraction.
The game ended with a 4-1 win for the Terriers. “I haven’t seen that I’ve been here six years and we’ve had horrific teams, but we didn’t play with that emotion,” Scott Borek concludes, “Nothing positive happened tonight, nothing.”
Merrimack and BU will face off again at a 6 p.m. puck drop. I will have full coverage along with the Beacon, so make sure to follow @antonelli7jr on Twitter for more updates on all things Merrimack Hockey.