BU Punches Ticket to Hockey East Semifinals

By Pat O’Rourke
BU News Service

The BU men’s hockey team is headed back to the Garden.

The Terriers, led by a three-point performance by freshman Jack Eichel, punched its ticket to the Hockey East semifinals with a 5-0 win over Merrimack on Saturday, completing the two-game sweep of the quarterfinal series. BU has now won six consecutive quarterfinal games since losing in double-overtime to UNH in the opening game of the 2012 quarterfinals.

After being held scoreless in the first period despite outshooting the Warriors, 18-9, the Terriers put three pucks past Merrimack netminder Rasmus Tirronen in the second. Cason Hohmann opened the scoring 4:11 into the frame before Ahti Oksanen and Danny O’Regan added tallies of their own. BU outshot Merrimack 21-2 in the period.

Two goals in the final five minutes, Matt Grzelcyk’s ninth goal of the year with 4:21 to go followed by Hohmann’s second of the game with 25 seconds left, rounded out the scoring.

Eichel led the Terriers with three assists, his second assist of the night his 60th point of the season. He had a 2-4–6 line in the series. The defensive unit, skating with just five defensemen again with John MacLeod injured, accounted for three more points. The group posted a 1-7–8 line in the two games.

The Terriers are back in the Hockey East semifinals for the first time since 2013, when they lost to UMass-Lowell, 1-0, in the championship game. They can face UMass-Lowell, Notre Dame, Vermont, or UNH, depending on how the other quarterfinal series play out. The semifinals are on Friday, with the title game on Saturday.

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