No. 3 Boston University Men’s Hockey (19-7-1, 13-4-1 HE) put on a masterclass for Terrier Nation with many exciting milestones for BU’s newcomers. Decisively winning 7-1 over the Merrimack College Warriors (10-17-1, 3-14-1 HE), the Terriers will head into the Beanpot Championship game with their heads held high.
“It took us a little bit to get inside on them [Merrimack] and get in front of their goalie,” said Head Coach Jay Pandolfo. “I thought we were good in the first period, but I thought we missed the net a lot and then finally Peterson decided to shoot it in and it went in and I thought we kind of took off from there. Great effort by our group.”
The first 14 minutes of play had both teams playing around in the neutral zone. With two minutes left, each team only recorded six shots on net. The seventh BU shot found its way past Merrimack senior goaltender Zachary Borgiel.
Off a pass from sophomore defenseman Lane Hutson, Junior forward Dylan Peterson shot the puck short side to open up the scoring for the Terriers. At the end of the first, it was 1-0 BU.
Wasting no time doubling the Terriers total was Hockey East Rookie of the Week, forward Macklin Celebrini. Hutson slipped a pass to Celebrini to connect on a one-time shot. Sophomore forward Devin Kaplin was accredited with the secondary assist.
To put the Terriers up 3-0 was graduate captain Case McCarthy, who also hit a one-timer that snuck past Borgiel. The five-hole goal was McCarthy’s second goal of the season, sophomore Jeremy Wilmer was awarded the primary assist, and junior Nick Zabanah earned the secondary.
Shortly after BU’s third goal, freshman defenseman Gavin McCarthy was given a questionable slashing penalty to put Merrimack on the power play. With seconds left on the Warriors’ play, junior forward Mark Hillier scored a five-hole goal to get Merrimack on the board.
The game remained 3-1 until freshman forward Jack Harvey decided to score his first two NCAA career goals. That’s right, within 30 seconds of one another, Harvey scored two goals to take a commanding 5-1 lead over the Warriors.
“It was pretty exciting the get the first one,” said Harvey. “I think our line as a whole has been playing really well, and playing the right way. I think we’ve been clicking together.”
With only a minute remaining following Harvey’s two goals, sophomore forward Jeremy Wilmer wanted in on the fun too. A blocked shot off of Wilmer’s shinpad opened up the ice for a 3-on-1. However, the Terriers only needed two of the three to get past Borgiel. Sophomore forward Ryan Greene passed the puck back and forth with Wilmer, ultimately giving Wilmer an open net to end the second period 6-1 Terriers.
The third frame saw the Terriers pulling junior goaltender Mathieu Caron to give freshman Max Lacroix his NCAA debut. Lacroix quickly rose to the occasion, shutting down a breakaway with a leg-stretching save. Scoring on his breakaway was sophomore forward Quinn Hutson, who capped off the Terrier’s goal frenzy at seven.
“Going into Monday at that point of the game it’s probably smart to get Caron out of there,” said Pandolfo. “It gives another guy an opportunity to get some reps and he [Lacroix] played great right away. He’s been really good in practice, he’s a competitive kid, so I’m happy for him.”
Notably missing many high-quality scoring chances was senior forward Nick Zabaneh, who could have linked up with Peterson’s many centering passes. He will be hungry for a goal on Monday’s Beanpot Championship against the Northeastern University Huskies. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 pm at TD Garden. The game will also be available on ESPN+ and NESN.