It was a memorable weekend for the Merrimack College men’s ice hockey team, as the Warriors took on the fifth-ranked Boston University Terriers in a two-game series with it all beginning in Lawler Rink. Let’s get into what made the upset.
Friday, February 17, 2023: Merrimack College 4, Boston University 1
On Friday night, Merrimack hosted the fifth-ranked Boston University men’s ice hockey team at Lawler Rink. The highly anticipated matchup drew significant interest and student tickets sold out quickly, the Warriors pulled off a 4-1 upset thanks to an incredible performance by goalie Zachary Borgiel with 38 saves, and a three-point game from Mick Messner.
Boston University nearly doubled Merrimack’s shots on goal, 39 to 21. They won more faceoffs, 38 to 28, and were able to capitalize on one of their four power plays to score their only goal while shutting down Merrimack on all of their opportunities (Sidenode, there were a lot of penalties in this game. 14 total that were equally split between the two teams). Merrimack had over double the amount of blocked shots, with 17 to Boston University’s eight. The styles of the two teams varied quite a bit, Boston University tried to make it a very physical game. At the same time, Merrimack outmaneuvered them on each of their scores, finding space in front of the net which was very clear with Matt Copponi’s beautiful wrist shot to open the scoring.
Throughout the first period, it became evident that The Terriers wanted to make it a physical game. They outhit Merrimack in both numbers and made them hard hits, but The Warriors rose to the challenge. Throughout the game, the officials had to separate players from both teams a number of times, and no fight ever broke out. Although Merrimack allowed more shots, they were contested and often felt like frustration fires from Boston University. Merrimack played suffocating defense throughout the entire game, and The Terriers simply did not have an answer for it.
Boston University’s lone goal came in the third period off a rebound shot during a power play, and even then it was no gimme. The majority of Boston University’s shots were through traffic and were closer to the faceoff circles than the goalie’s crease.
Then on Saturday night, the Warriors made the trip to Agganis Arena to finish out the series, where Daniel McGowan is providing a recap.
Saturday, February 18, 2023: Merrimack College 4, Boston University 3 (OT)
Daniel McGowan ‘23
The Warriors close out the series with a thrilling OT win over the Terriers. The 2023 continuation for the men’s hockey team has had its ups and downs with some tough losses on the road and some crushing defeats at Lawler in early January. However, with problems comes fixes as the Warriors were able to sweep the fifth-ranked squad in the Hockey East. The Warriors were able to put the nail in the coffin with the help of two clutch goals by Ben Brar to solidify a sweep in the series. The Warriors look to build a winning streak in the closing weeks of the regular season as their next two matchups are series against their rival UMass Lowell River Hawks.