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March 11, 2013

Warriors ready for Hockey East playoffs

Merrimack College will travel to Boston University for this weekend’s Hockey East quarterfinals. All three games in the best-of-3 format will be at BU’s Agganis Arena.

It’s the second time in four years the Warriors and Terriers will be quarterfinal opponents. The teams met in the 2009-10 quarterfinals with BU winning the series in three games.

The Warriors are 0-3 against BU this season.

The Terriers will be without goaltender Matt O’Connor, who appeared in 19 games this season, after he had surgery last week to repair a collapsed lung. BU will also be without defenseman Garrett Noonan (32 games), after he injured his shoulder this past weekend.

“We’re 0-0-0 now,” Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy said. “It’s a new season. Now we’ll see whether we’ll be a below-.500 team or will we be an above-.500 team? That’s the challenge for us. It’s a clean slate, we need to take the positives from the entire season and move on.”

Merrimack traveled to Agganis Arena just three weeks ago, falling behind 5-0 before dropping a 5-2 game to the Terriers after Jordan Heywood potted a pair of goals in the third period.

Merrimack’s senior class has now made the postseason in all four seasons, marking the first class to do so since Hockey East expanded to 10 teams when it added Vermont in 2005-06. It’s also the first class under Dennehy to make the postseason in all four years.

The Hockey East Playoffs UMass Lowell vs. 8. Maine at the Tsongas Center (Lowell) Maine won season series 2-1 Boston College vs. 7. Vermont at Conte Forum (BC) Boston College won season series 2-0-1 Boston University vs. 6. Merrimack at Agganis Arena (BU) Boston University won season series 3-0 Providence vs. 5. New Hampshire at Schneider Arena (Providence) Providence won season series 2-0-1

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