CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — The Merrimack men’s hockey team saw its season end last night at No. 4 Boston College, 6-1. The Warriors finished the season 9-22-3.
“I was disappointed with how the game went,” Merrimack head coach Scott Borek said. “BC is the hottest team in our league right now, and maybe the country. We had to make them earn their opportunities and on their first four goals, three of them were off our own stick. That allowed them to play a short rink and it got us in trouble. We didn’t seem to get on the defensive side of the puck well enough tonight.”
The Warriors fell behind just 1:20 into the game when Matt Boldy gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead. David Cotton doubled that lead at the 8:30 mark.
After outshooting the Warriors 15-3 in the first period, the Eagles pulled away with two more goals early in the second period.
Mac Welsher scored Merrimack’s lone goal of the game — his seventh of the year — but the Eagles added one more at the end of the second and another insurance goal in the third for the 6-1 win.
The Warriors were without one of their top defensemen, Zach Uens, for much of the night. Uens was hurt last weekend against Providence and Borek said he re-aggravated the injury in the game last night. He played a couple of shifts in the first period and only saw ice in the second period when he served a major penalty that was assessed to Liam Walsh, who was also given a game misconduct.
“He aggravated an injury,” Borek said. “He got hurt in the second game last weekend and he practiced all week. Yesterday he got hit in the same spot. It was right above his ankle and any pressure was really killing him. He didn’t play in the second period — he served the penalty — and then we didn’t want him to come out for the third.”
Merrimack ends the season with statistical improvements in almost every category. The Warriors scored 0.6 goals per game more than they did last season and allowed 0.4 fewer goals per game, improving their goal differential by a full goal per game. Merrimack’s power play was eight percentage points better and the penalty kill was six percentage points better than last season.
In the standings the Warriors improved the most in Hockey East play, upping their point total by seven points (7-14-3 record) and finished with two more total wins than last season.
This all came with 15 freshmen on the roster and arguably the top freshman forward, Filip Forsmark, ruled ineligible for the year by the NCAA. The Warriors also lost senior forward Patrick Kramer and sophomore forward Jordan Seyfert to injuries in November, and both were playing a top-six role.
“I love our team’s effort,” he said. “We played a better team tonight. They didn’t pull the wolves off. They had (Matt) Boldy out there at the end of the game. That will be a point of emphasis for us when we play again. At the end of the day though, we continued to play the whole game. Our guys didn’t do anything crazy at the end and they represented themselves well. I love our team. I’m really disappointed that it’s over. I love coaching this group of kids. Our leaders are fabulous and they pushed us forward.”
#4 Boston College 6, Merrimack 1
at Conte Forum
Merrimack College (9-22-3): 0-0-1—1
Boston College (22-8-1): 2-3-1—6
First Period: 1. BC Matt Boldy 8 (Connor Moore, Alex Newhook), ev, 1:20; 2. BC David Cotton 14 (Julius Mattila, Logan Hutsko), ev, 8:30.
Second Period: 3. BC Jesper Mattila 2 (Julius Mattila, David Cotton), ev, 0:51; 4. BC Alex Newhook 18 (Matt Boldy, Jesper Mattila), ev, 5:28; 5. BC Mac Welsher 7 (Dominic Dockery, Troy Kobryn), sh, 14:31; 6. BC Mike Hardman 10 (Alex Newhook), ev, 19:31.
Third Period: 7. BC Matt Boldy 9 (Jesper Mattila, Ben Finkelstein), ev, 9:49.
Shots: Merrimack 3-8-9—20; Boston College 15-13-12—40
Saves: MC Kobryn 13-10-11—34; BC Knight 3-7-9—19
Power Play: Merrimack 0 for 3; Boston College 0 for 2
Penalties: Merrimack 4-19:00; Boston College 5-10:00