Notebook: BU figures out Merrimack on the penalty kill
BOSTON — Merrimack entered this weekend’s series against Boston University with the second-best power play in Hockey East. The Warriors’ average was up over 20 percent.
Friday night at Lawler Arena, the Warriors found the net twice (in three chances) against the Terriers. Saturday was a different story, though. BU held Merrimack scoreless on seven chances (one was cut short due to a penalty) as the Terriers picked up a 3-1 win.
“I wasn’t particularly frustrated, but I wasn’t out there,” Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy said. “I think some of my players might have been a little frustrated. They got us away from doing what we normally do. I try to coach at ice level. It’s really easy for me where I sit to say something was good or bad, but on the ice it’s hectic. The other team is out there, they’re playing hard, but there’s a way we want to play. There are certain things we were doing tonight that we haven’t done all year, and I think a lot of that comes down to guys getting frustrated.”
BU head coach David Quinn said that the Terriers did make some adjustments on the penalty kill after the Warriors found success on the power play on Friday.
“We wanted to be more aggressive than Friday night and we were,” he said. “That helped. We blocked more shots and the PK starts with your goalie. When Jake looks like he did tonight, your PK will look good. That gave us more confidence and we were able to play more aggressive.”
Big series on tap with Vermont
Vermont beat UMass Lowell on Saturday and other results around the league pushed the Warriors down to 10th place in Hockey East. Merrimack welcomes the Catamounts for a two-game series next weekend and those games could be huge in figuring out home ice for the Hockey East playoffs.
Merrimack, which occupied a home-ice spot entering the weekend, is now one point back, but UMass and New Hampshire — the two teams in front of the Warriors — have at least one game in hand. The Warriors are three games back of Connecticut for seventh place, with three games in hand on the Huskies.