NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — Although getting win number 800 on Monday in the storied Beanpot may have been more fitting, Boston Universitys legendary coach seemed pleased to do so Friday evening in North Andover, MA after defeating Merrimack, 3-1.
Over the past years we’ve had some great assistant coaches and some great recruiters, Jack Parker said. I remember my first one, but I probably will not remember this one until it is all said and done.”
Both BU and Merrimack were unsuccessful on their power play opportunities early on in the first period.
The first goal of the game came when Captain Matt Gilroy sent a sure snipe through all of the Warrior defenders from the top of the right faceoff circle at 16:22. He managed to get a tally on the scoreboard for the Terriers and hit the water bottle in the process.
Brandon Yip put one in on the power play for the Terriers within two minutes of Gilroy’s goal. He unloaded a cannon from the point that blew its way past Andrew Braithwaite to make the score 2-0 in BU’s favor with about two minutes left in the first.
The action started to fire up in the second period when the Warriors were called on a slew of penalties.
Merrimack was suffering under the Terrier pressure and with 17 seconds left on Mickey Rego’s hooking penalty the Terriers finally made a strong surge to overwhelm Braithwaite by clogging up the front of the net. This move left Braithwaite on the ground and the Terriers would have scored again if they did not knock the goal loose.
Brandon Sadlowski also picked up a penalty for hitting from behind during this scuffle, but the Terriers could not make the best of the situation. With ten minutes left in the second both teams were at even strength, but the Warriors were still feeling the agony of a two goal deficit.
Boston University gave up no room what so ever to the Warriors in the offensive zone. Merrimack was not able to set up any solid shots because of BU’s determination on defense.
Merrimack sparked some fire when Jesse Todd made a smart pass from behind the net to Pat Bowen who was coming in off of a line change. Bowen unleashed a shot on net that rebounded to Rob Ricci who then slammed the puck home to put Merrimack on the board for the first time tonight.
Boston University wasted no time rebuilding their two goal cushion. They lucked out when Joe Cucci was called for clipping. Colby Cohen fired a shot from the left faceoff circle on the power play that went in off Braithwaite’s shoulder and hit the water bottle once again, making the score 3-1.
“We played better than we did two weeks ago, observed Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy. In the first two games we did a little too much watching, but tonight we made better plays. I thought we played smarter while killing penalties. Stick infractions in the offensive zone hurt us down the line. That team is going to go far this year and we went toe to toe with them.”
The third period ended with several penalties being exchanged by both teams. The Terries swept the season series.
According to BUs Parker, the difference in the first period was that a couple of our guys made some pretty good plays. Those two goals settled us down a bit. We did not help our power play percentage tonight by going 2 for 13. Merrimack played a smart and hard game. They did a great job killing penalties. It was a Hockey East Hockey game that could have gone either way.”
Tomorrow, Merrimack hosts Providence while Jack Parker goes for win 801 as his Terriers face off against Harvard on Monday in the semifinals of the Beanpot.