By Mike McMahon
---- — BOSTON — Coming into last night’s Game 2 of the Hockey East quarterfinals, Merrimack College had not led Boston University at all this season in the four games the teams had played.
Last night, the Warriors led three times. But, all three times, the Terriers clawed their way back to a tie and eventually scored the game-winner with 14:49 left in the third period to beat the Warriors, 5-3, at Agganis Arena.
The Terriers won the best-of-3 series 2-0 and ended Merrimack’s season.
Coming on the heels of Friday’s 3-0 loss to the Terriers where the Warriors were dominated in the grade-A portion of the ice, Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy was much more pleased with his team’s effort.
“We were much better (last night),” Dennehy said. “We had a lot of great efforts from a lot of guys but it just wasn’t good enough.”
It proved to be the last game for Merrimack seniors Kyle Bigos, John Heffernan, Brandon Brodhag and Andover goalie Nick Drew.
“We really wanted to play hard for the (seniors),” Merrimack junior winger Rhett Bly said. “You want to extend their season as long as you can.”
Bly continued, “We need to go back to the drawing board and look at ourselves in the mirror as forwards and see what kind of hockey players we want to be. We need to figure out whether we want to live up to not only the seniors this year but the past alumni who have played here. They’ve been men. We need to get that culture back here.”
The Warriors were out-played 25-6 in grade-A chances on Friday. Last night, Merrimack finished with 17 grade-A chances to BU’s 15.
Merrimack out-attempted the Terriers 82-51 and outshot them 42-34.
“You can learn from other teams,” Bly said. “We can look at BU’s shot chart and check out all of their chances from grade-A. Coach always says that’s where goals are scored. We need to be more efficient and better in that area.”
Parker’s last hurrah
Last night’s win was the final home game for BU head coach Jack Parker, who is retiring after 40 years behind the BU bench.
Parker addressed the crowd following the game after a video montage aired on Agganis Arenas’ scoreboard.
After the game, he had kind words for a Merrimack program he has watched grow since Dennehy took the job in 2005.
“Mark has done a fabulous job,” he said. “Credit to (Merrimack) for battling the way they did. Someone told me our record against them in this building (17-1-3) but I’ll tell you what, they all felt like this one here. I really like their team. They’re a hell of a college hockey team.”
agateHed:Boston Univeristy 5, Merrimack 3
agateText:at Agganis Arena
agateText:Merrimack College (15-17-6, 13-12-3 HE): 1-2-0 — 3
agateText:Boston University (19-15-2, 15-10-2 HE): 0-3-2 — 5
agateText:First Period: 1. MC Shawn Bates 8 (Jordan Heywood), pp, 19:00.
agateText:Second Period: 2. BU Matt Nieto 18 (Danny O’Regan, Ryan Ruikka), ev, 1:31; 3. MC Mike Collins 17 (Connor Toomey, Jordan Heywood); 4. BU Cason Hohmann 10 (Sahir Gill, Matt Grzelcyk), pp, 16:12; 5. MC John Gustafsson 3 (unassisted), ev, 18:40; 6. BU Sam Kurker 3 (Wade Megan, Cason Hohmann), pp, 19:52.
agateText:Third Period: 7. BU Ben Rosen 5 (Matt Lane), ev, 5:11; 8. BU Sahir Gill 10 (Wade Megan, Anti Oksanen), en, 19:55.
agateText:Shots: Merrimack 11-20-11--42 ; Boston University 9-16-9--34
agateText:Goalies: MC Marotta 33 shots, 29 saves; BU Maguire 42 shots, 39 saves
agateText:Power Play: Merrimack 2 for 3; Boston University 2 for 5
agateText:Penalties: Merrimack 7-14; Boston University 5-10
agateText:Attendance: 3,043 (6,150)